Thursday, July 19, 2018

Alison McWhirter - Wild Love

We are delighted to be having our first solo exhibition, 'Wild Love', with Alison McWhirter BA MA.

Daisies and Cosmos

Alison has become a highly sought after artist. She works with spontaneity, energy and passion. This is evident in all of her paintings.

Purple Iris

Alison was born in Scotland in 1975. She attended Bath Academy where she trained as a painter gaining a BA in Fine Art in 1998. She continued her studies to gain a Postgraduate MA in Visual Culture 2000. Bath Academy of Art has produced such luminaries as the colourist Howard Hodgkin.

Alison McWhirter 2018

Her studies of flowers are intimate compositions which evoke a mood through their vibrancy of colour and loose bold brushwork. Her paintings are instinctive responses to her subject, often mixing paint directly on the canvas, so creating a sense of spontaneity which is prevalent in all her work. Alison's abstract works are sensorial responses to places which hover in the minds' eye, they seem to create a visual order all of their own.

Sierra Madre

Alison has had exposure in The Scotland on Sunday in 2011 where she was described as 'The new Scottish Colourist'. In 2012 Homes and Interiors Magazine deemed her to be one of the top Contemporary Scottish Colourists making waves in the art world. Her instantly recognisable work is held in private collections throughout the UK.

She has shown internationally in 2014 and 2015 at New York Art Fair and Hong Kong Art Fair selling out in NYC. Her first solo London show in 2016 at The Russell Gallery was a major success. 

Wild Flowers Looking For Summer

'Wild Love' previews on Sunday 29 July and continues until 26 August 2018.

The paintings are available to view and reserve now on:

A catalogue is also available on request.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Glasgow Art Fair 2018

We will be taking a stand at the Glasgow Art Fair this May, which will take place at its new home, the world renowned Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum located in the city’s West End.  The event, which is now in its fourth year, will take place from the 11-13th of May.

The art fair will be held in a purpose built marquee located next to the venue's main entrance and will house up to 45 exhibitors offering thousands of pieces of exciting new work.

We will be on stand 42-43 and will be representing artists including Sandy Murphy RSW RGI PAI, Margaretann Bennett RSW, Susan Hutchison, Angus McEwan RWS RGI RSW, Laura Harrison, David M Martin RSW RGI PAI, Barbara Franc (image below), Cate Inglis and Ludmilla Kosmina.

For more information, please visit the official website:

We have a very limited number of tickets for the Preview Evening, please do get in touch if you would like to go.

Friday 11th May 6.00pm – 9.00pm Preview Evening
Saturday 12th May 10.00am – 5.30pm
Sunday 13th May 10.00am – 5.00pm

We hope to see you there!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Recent Exhibition

Our first two person exhibition of the year features the magnificent Cate Inglis and Jane Gardiner. 
Both Cate and Jane have fast become the rising stars of the Scottish art scene and we are delighted to be showing their work together for the first time.

Jane Gardiner

The contrast between these two artists is clear, but they share a great commitment to their art and to their subject matter. They also share a great sensitivity of palette.

Cate Inglis

Cate is fascinated by urban decay, of the deserted cityscape, but on closer inspection, there is such beauty and hope in her detailed and sensitive observations. She has been wowing art collectors since her emergence onto the art scene.

Jane Gardiner

Jane is an observer and is fascinated by people, interiors, animals and unexpected juxtapositions. She lives by her sketchbook - a true artist.

Cate Inglis

This exciting exhibition opens 11 March 2018.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Marion Drummond, Tracy Butler and Helen Tabor - Preview

Our first exhibition of 2018 opened with a bang on 4th February with an exciting mix of new paintings by three dynamic and diverse artists. 
Tracy Butler is a Smithy Gallery favourite and we are delighted to pair her work with the unique works of Helen Tabor and the highly collectable paintings of Marion Drummond.

The preview day was busy with artists, art-lovers and visitors to the gallery, all enjoying the paintings, and the complementary wine and chocolates. A perfect day.
All three artists have a collection of red dots to compliment their beautiful paintings. Very well-deserved all round.

Many thanks to Marion Drummond, Helen Tabor and Tracy Butler and to everyone who attended.

Monday, July 31, 2017

'Complementary Contrasts' - Jenny Matthews and Angus McEwan RWS RGI RSW

WATERCOLOUR isn’t always taken as seriously as it should be. Perhaps it suffers from the days when it was considered an “accomplishment” for well brought up young ladies, like embroidery or holding a tea cup in the proper manner. Or perhaps it has seemed to be stuck for too long in the realm of the Sunday afternoon hobbyist.
Jenny Matthews says: “When I tell people I work in watercolour, I can see them thinking, ‘I know what watercolour is, it’s probably small and a bit twee’. People don’t imagine the strong colours, the big scale. I quite enjoy surprising people.

Jenny Matthews - Looking Upwards

Anyone with a preconceived notion of what watercolour is will be surprised by the work of Jenny Matthews and Angus McEwan. Two of the top artists in Scotland working in the medium, and both recognised internationally for their achievements, they aren’t afraid to push it in new directions. Being exhibited together here for the first time, their work demonstrates the contrasting ways in which watercolour can fulfil its potential.

Angus McEwan - Natural Selection

Jenny Matthews - Transition

Jenny Matthews studied botanical painting under Dame Elizabeth Blackadder at Edinburgh College of Art, and fell in love both with flowers and with watercolour. Ever since then, she has worked with both, balancing water and pigment to capture the bright colours she loves: the ochre of a tulip, the deep blue of an iris. “I feel watercolour is really descriptive. If you’re trying to portray plants, it works really well; there are lot of markings on flowers which look as though they have been painted in watercolour.”

Jenny Matthews - Fading Tulips

Angus McEwan had to go all the way to China to discover the potential of the medium. In 1996 he was awarded the prestigious Alastair Salveson travel scholarship, he packed watercolours because he didn’t have room in his luggage for his oils and acrylics. “I thought: ‘How hard can it be?’” he grimaces. “The first paintings I did were awful.
Since those early days Angus has come a long way and has won numerous international watercolour awards as well as being invited to judge several international watercolour competitions.

Angus McEwan - Busy Corner

Angus has developed his own style, building up layers of paint to create the realist depictions of weathered surfaces and buildings for which he is highly acclaimed: atmospheric evocations of old, once-inhabited places. “I find watercolour really versatile. I can get the crisp quality I want with detail, I can get a richness and depth by building up layers. A lot of people have quite strict rules about it; I quite like breaking these rules.”

Angus McEwan - Rose Amongst Thorns

Listening to Angus and Jenny talk, one quickly becomes aware of the contrasting ways they work with the medium - and make it work for them. I hear about the varying properties of pigments and paper; broad brushes, fine brushes, even a toothbrush; layering, splattering and stippling; keeping a painting balanced on the edge of control. One is left in no doubt that this is a robust contemporary medium requiring considerable technical skill and ripe for experimentation.

Jenny Mathews - A Good Year

Through the complementary contrasts of their work, one sees a range of what can be achieved. As Angus says: “I keep returning to this incredible medium, even though it is considered by some as a lesser way of working. This exhibition will demonstrate that there is a lot more to watercolour than many people think.”

Susan Mansfield, July 2017

The exhibition runs at Smithy Gallery from 6 August until 3 September.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Phil McLoughlin and Joyce Gunn Cairns

In May we are pairing two very different artists - Phil McLoughlin and Joyce Gunn Cairns. They are exhibiting for the very first time together in their exhibition 'Real Imaginings'.

Phil McLoughlin - Write and Record

Joyce Gunn Cairns - Triumvirate

Each of us is attracted to different work for different reasons. I personally like to be stopped in my tracks. This happens rarely and when it does my heart beats a little faster as I feel something new and unique. I think is takes an artist of incredible talent to have this effect on the viewer.

Phil McLoughlin - Veneration

I was first introduced to Joyce Gunn Cairns, the fabulous Edinburgh artist, not long after I opened the gallery in 2005 and I was delighted to come across Phil McLoughlin's work more recently being exhibited in the RGI. Both artists have had this impact on me.

As different as the work looks in style, there is a depth and tension there, speaking (or rather not speaking) volumes.

Joyce Gunn Cairns - Her Summer Oufit

The exhibition opens on Sunday 7th May.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Coming Next in 2016

2016 is going to be the year of exciting exhibitions and new arrivals.

In April, the Smithy baby is due!  We will be spending a little time getting our wee one trained up in the ways of the art world before returning to the gallery at the end of July. Here we will be organising our new exhibition, the annual Affordable Art Show for its opening at the beginning of August.

This is an exhibition of smaller works by a host of painters, ceramicists and jewellers. All works are priced under £500.  This is a great way for art-lovers to add to their collections, or for first-time buyers to begin theirs with an affordable piece of work.

In September, we are delighted that the esteemed landscape and still life painter Sandy Murphy RSW RGI PAI will be having a large solo exhibition of new works. Sandy had a very successful solo exhibition with us in 2013 and we are delighted that he will be returning.


In October, the incredibly popular Gordon Wilson will be also be returning to the gallery for a solo exhibition of new and exciting works. Gordon's work attracts large crowds of admirers - a show not to be missed!

We will be busy with our new arrival in April, but from May to July, we will have mixed works to view at the gallery alongside our ranges of jewellery and ceramics.

Visits to the gallery over this period will mainly be available by appointment, and we will keep you updated with any fixed opening times.

We will always be contactable by email and also through our facebook page.

Many thanks for supporting Smithy Gallery and please feel free to get in touch anytime.

Thanks for reading!