Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Love is in the Air

My heart's just gone poof!

The Sandy Murphy paintings arrived earlier, hidden under layers of bubble wrap.  All forty-four of them. 

One by one I peeled, okay ripped, them open and each time my heart went poof, like love, maybe lust, no I think it's love.  I don't really understand how paintings can have this effect, but these do.  Some people say that Sandy is possibly the best painter in Britain and I would agree with that.  His paintings reach deep down inside you, without imagery or narrative, but with feeling and beauty.

Sandy has already teased me for calling him my inspiration in a recent Glasgow Herald article (http://www.heraldscotland.com/arts-ents/stage-visual-arts/sandy-murphy-the-smithy-gallery-blanefield-glasgow-1.1120527) so I am glad that he hardly uses computers and won't see this blog . . . he would probably blush a little, and I would blush a lot.

Obviously I have seen Sandy Murphy's paintings before - I have two at home - but I've never seen so many together and not in my gallery.  They are all sitting there waiting to find their niche on the walls and I can't stop looking at them.

It's going to be a beautiful exhibition and maybe I'll calm down at some point.  But I'm smitten and I don't think I will be the only one.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Star Man

The Gordon Wilson exhibition ends this Sunday and it has been one of the best, okay the best, solo show the gallery has ever had.  There are twenty six paintings sold and we still have the weekend to go!

I have loved the way the gallery has looked and felt, and the colour and boldness of the paintings will be missed when it's over. 

My next post won't be until Tuesday so this is my special thank you to Gordon for all of his hard work in producing such a beautiful collection of paintings, and also for having such faith in the gallery.  His energy, enthusiasm and humour are infectious and I have loved working with him.

Here are some beauties that haven't yet been sold.

Thank you Gordon, you are a star!

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I have more than one man in my life.  And it's becoming complicated. 

The Gordon Wilson exhibition is in its final week, which can be the most important week to me.  The show has been an undeniable success, with twenty five paintings sold so far, including the fireplace biggie (I love a huge painting above the Smithy wood-burning stove!).  This sale today has been the icing on the cake. No, better, the cherry on top of the icing.  But with a week to go, there is plenty of room for more icing . . . anyway enough about cake.

This week is the culmination of all of Gordon's hard work and the gallery's dedication to it.  For the last couple of weeks, the collection that he has put together has been viewed, talked about, appreciated and happily purchased.  And I feel this could continue on and on and that's why the final week is so important, because it should continue right up until the last minute, as it has done from the start.  My mind is so firmly focused on each day here, but at the same time . . . . .

I am very excited to be organising the upcoming Sandy Murphy RSW RGI PAI exhibition that follows on from Gordon.  This means images, catalogues, interviews, and articles.  My mind is happily awash with the beauty that each Sandy Murphy painting brings.

Then my mind goes back to the present and Gordon, and then I feel a little sad that this happy time is going to end.  Oh dear.  Well I must admit that I do sometimes get attached to paintings, exhibitions, even artists, particularly when it has been such a positive experience.

I suppose I'm just a very lucky girl.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, August 19, 2011

The Kiss

I was in London recently and found myself having a couple of hours to spare before my journey home.  So I ran into the Tate Modern, one of my favourite places to visit. 

I love the enormous scale of the hall as you enter, the tiny people growing larger as you descend the slope.  There seems to still be a hum about the former power station, a kind of vibration, and I always get a tingle of excitement when I enter the vast space knowing the goodies that quietly reside there.

I was running out of time, so as always I thought Picasso!  Must see the Picassos!  I don't really know the layout and felt too stubborn to study the maps, so I ran about, turned a corner and saw this . . . .

Cue sharp intake of breath!  I've never seen it before.  Rodin's The Kiss.  The scale and beauty of it stopped me in my tracks and as I slowly circled it, my heart melted into a warm puddle.  Just beautiful. 

Now it turns out that Rodin himself found his work overly traditional, 'a large sculpted knick-knack' he said.  I love this.  I love it when an artist creates something, gives something to the world much bigger and more powerful than he intended, perhaps even more than he can see himself. 

Traditional techniques have been used, but there is nothing non-contemporary about the command this work has on the viewer.  To be able to create a piece of work that immediately transforms someone emotionally is so incredible, and is possibly what art is all about.  Although that concept can be discussed back and forth all day, and I only have myself to argue with!

I don't leave Smithy Gallery very often and was very glad to be back.  I am busy with the Gordon Wilson exhibition which is continuing as it started, and also organising the upcoming Sandy Murphy RSW RGI PAI exhibition. 

Nevertheless, I do allow my mind to drift from time to time, thinking about the Picassos and the 'knick-knack' that I almost missed.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sandy Murphy RSW RGI PAI

As always, I'm very excited to be organising our next exhibition, but this one has been a dream of mine for a long time.  

I first met Sandy Murphy around ten years ago when I was painting full time.  He was my absolute inspiration.  He is a painter of the highest quality.  Whether still life, landscape or otherwise, it's all about the paint and the passion, and I just love this about him.  I feel it when I look at his work, as do many others.  He also has a list of awards to prove it.  Accolades are not necessary of course, but they've been showered on him anyway!   

I am so excited that his work will be viewed at Smithy Gallery by so many people who like me, have appreciated his work for a long time, but also by people who perhaps aren't so aware of his work. 


The paintings deserve to be seen and appreciated by as many people as possible.  So I am delighted to be having him as our featured artist next month.  The exhibition opens on 4th September and runs until 16th October.  And while will be showing a selection of work from other artists, Sandy will be the main event, with hopefully around thirty five paintings.

The brochure is at the printers.  If you want to get your hands on one, please email the gallery with your details and I'll post one out to you.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Light My Fire

So it's been raining, which a lot of people don't like, but I do because it gives me an excuse to light the Smithy fire at the height of summer!

So now that I'm cosy, I'm looking around at the exhibition and I am enjoying it.  All exhibitions are different, naturally.  They transform the gallery space into something quite different each time.  Gordon Wilson's work sits very happily here, and that's it, it makes a happy building feel even happier.

The boldness and certainty of his work seem to compliment the form of the building.  The visibility of each stone laid upon the next making up the warm walls, the strong criss-cross of the beams and the even oak floor are loving these windows of colour with their character, strength and humour.

And of course I could wax lyrical about Gordon's paintings and the gallery all day, but sometimes, on the rainiest of days, one of my favourite sights is this . . . . 

Well you can't really beat a bowl of heart-shaped chocolates, yum!

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Artist

Having a gallery was a dream of mine for a long time.  I was a painter myself, with a studio in Glasgow's Trongate and I loved it.  All the artists and studios and galleries that were emerging in that area made it one of Glasgow's brightest artistic hubs, and I felt lucky to be there.

For me, the dream of having a gallery was as much about the artist, as it was about creating a beautiful and welcoming space.

Having worked as a painter myself, I know what it is like to have your work seen, appreciated, perhaps even selling.  The most amazing thing about selling for me was that somebody wanted to make your work part of their home, something that they would see every day.

The current Gordon Wilson exhibition is continuing as it started, so far selling twenty three paintings!  This is quite a number in the first week or so, and I am incredibly happy that his talent, hard work and dedication has been reflected in this way - by so many people loving his work that much. 

Gordon popped into the gallery the other day to see how we were getting on, and yes to see all of those red dots with his own eyes!

As you can see, a happy man!  I'm smiling too.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, August 05, 2011

Time Out!

You may have noticed that I have spoken quite a lot about the current Gordon Wilson solo exhibition.  As it continues for the next three weeks, I've decided to give it a rest today and show you the clocks that have just arrived at the gallery. 

Made individually by artist Ian Roberts. A true craftsman, he works mainly with the raku technique originating several centuries ago in Japan.  This results in this beautiful crackled effect.  Each piece is very beautiful, but also unique.

Each clock has a little mouse hiding in it.  Ian always asks me, with or without the mouse?  I say yes to the mouse!

But I suppose it wouldn't hurt to mention that Gordon Wilson has now sold twenty paintings, and we are not even a week in!  Expectations have been exceeded and it's a brilliant start to a wonderful exhibition.  It's on until 28 August and still many beautiful works to choose from.  Oops, couldn't help it!!

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Gordon Flies High!

The Gordon Wilson solo exhibition opened on Sunday and we are still reeling from the success of it.  People came in their droves and happily turned the tables on the prevailing mood of doom and gloom in the art world and beyond.

The first paintings sold the day before to enthusiastic buyers who wouldn't be able to make the Sunday opening.  This can sometimes be frustrating for buyers who are waiting for the opening, but as it says on the catalogue, all works are for sale on receipt of it, and it only demonstrates the desire and the demand that there is for Gordon's work. 

Is was such a well put together exhibition though, literally an exhibition of what Gordon can do, that there were paintings enough for everybody.  Each one a match for the next.  Choosing was the problem for some people!

Here are some more of the gorgeous people who made the day a success:

The exhibition has only just begun and will continue until 28 August.  If you visit the gallery you will be able to see for yourself why Gordon Wilson is becoming such a recognisable name on the Scottish art scene.

I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has so far been part of the Gordon Wilson exhibition.  To everyone who turned up to enjoy the show, and of course to Gordon and his lovely family. 

The party atmosphere continued all day, the champagne drunk, the chocolates gone and seventeen paintings sold!  And still plenty to choose from.

As you can see, everyone had a good time!

Thanks for reading!