Friday, March 30, 2012

Alasdair Gray & Joyce Gunn Cairns

I love creating a new invitation brochure for each exhibition.  The design is completely influenced by the exhibiting artist or artists, and the tone of their work.

I'm am thrilled to be organising an exhibition of works by famed writer and artist, Alasdair Gray, alongside Edinburgh's well-known Joyce Gunn Cairns. 

Here are a few pages of the upcoming brochure to hopefully whet the appetite!

Two dramatic, yet very different artists have inspired and hopefully led to a dramatic and interesting brochure.  I loved working with Alasdair's gorgeous and provocative illustrations and writings.

Then, we have Joyce's delicate yet also provocative paintings.  She manages to create works that are both bold and subtle.  There is really nobody like her.

Both incredibly well-known artists have encouraged arts writers and authors to contribute their views to the brochure.

The exhibition opens on 15th April, and I will be highlighting both artists' extraordinary work in the run up to the Private View.

If you would like to receive one, please contact the gallery.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012


The sun is out in all its glory and everything seems to cease for a moment as we wonder at the blue of the sky and the comforting warmth we feel just by being outdoors.

This is a rare phenomenon in Scotland and must be enjoyed at all costs before the clouds descend once more, hiding that rarely seen glowing ball.

I've been musing in the gallery's little cottage garden today about beauty in art and beauty in nature, whether the two can be compared. 

Nature's beauty is exquisite and seemingly infinite in it's variety.  Art is as varied as the people who choose to create it but certainly isn't always exquisite.  Beautiful art can be bold, simple even, but when it's successful the balance is exquisite.  Perhaps the experience of beauty in any of its forms is an exquisite experience.

Artists through the ages have been inspired by nature, trying to capture it's beauty and life.  Even though the flowers are usually cut, they seem to spring to life through the artist's eyes.  I love this little painting in our current Laura Harrison exhibition.  It makes me happy just to look at it.

What a beauty.  I must pop my head outside again though, just to compare. . . . .

Thanks for reading!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Glasgow Art Show

I visited the opening of the inaugural Glasgow Art Show last night.  This brand new venture has hopes of replacing the hugely successful Glasgow Art Fair. 

For the last fifteen years the fair sprang up in George Square in the centre of the city heralding spring and, for a few days, a fabulous variety of quality galleries exhibited all aspects of the visual arts.

It was almost impossible to avoid the huge marquee in the centre of the city, and people from all walks of life would be tempted in.  This was one of it's finest qualities, that people not necessarily familiar with gallery-going would see the finest work that Glasgow, Scotland and beyond had to offer.

I actually thought the new format, housed in the a large conference room in a hotel, would have no chance of competing, but I think I was mistaken.  It was laid out incredibly well and it captured the roving excitement of the original art fair.  It was not as spacious as expected, and the general quality of the work was lower than the Fair, but this is also to be expected in its first year.

I really enjoyed the experience, and came away feeling hopeful.

Good luck to all the galleries taking part.  I so hope the red dots will be popping up throughout the weekend, and that Glasgow will once again have it's great annual celebration of creativity in the visual arts.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I have a spring in my step, there is actual sun streaming into the gallery (it's gone now, but I swear it was there) and my diary is telling me that it's the first day of Spring!

I know that this happens every year, but sometimes it feels like a minor miracle that we have gotten through January and February and all the gloom that that time of year can sometimes bring.

There are so many things that can affect our mood in all of our different lives, but the one thing in life that we all experience at the same time are the seasons: their ever-changing weather and light.

With Spring comes growth and colour, and hopefully this positivity touches us, encouraging us to lift our heads up, to move forward and to feel a little bit more creative.

All of us are artists, or appreciators of art in it's many forms.  I am surrounded by the most beautiful, uplifting work at the gallery.  The work changes dramatically through the gallery's diary of exhibitions, but it is hopefully always inspiring.

These paintings by Laura Harrison are turning heads and encouraging everyone who views them to feel impressed and energised.

The exhibition as a whole is a beautiful and bold experience.  It continues until 8 April.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Alasdair Gray & Joyce Gunn Cairns

I'm so incredibly excited about our next exhibition. 

We are lucky enough to be showing works by the inimitable Alasdair Gray in a joint exhibition with Joyce Gunn Cairns MBE.

Like so many people, I have always been a great admirer of Alasdair Gray's writings and artwork and I think he is perhaps Scotland's most talented and influential artist.

The gallery will provide a backdrop to a striking series of limited edition prints of his intricate drawings and illustrations.  These are very beautiful and are usually exhibited in large public spaces such as GOMA in Glasgow.

We are delighted that someone of Alasdair's stature and reputation will be coming to the gallery to show alongside the influential artist, Edinburgh's Joyce Gunn Cairns.  She has drawn Alasdair many times over the years.

These two artists, although very different, live and breathe their work.  They are both intellectuals who express their thoughts, emotions and creativity beautifully and powerfully in their art.

This promises to be a dynamic exhibition, with visuals to enjoy, words to consider and passions to explore.


The exhibition opens 15 April.

Thanks for reading!


(Alasdair Gray's images are courtesy of the artist and Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's Here!

The Laura Harrison exhibition has had so many visitors who have commented on the positive energy in the room.  And they are right.  This new collection of work has filled the gallery with spring-like optimism and vibrancy.

The small flower paintings seem to be jostling for the sunlight and the limelight, and they are all being adored by viewers.

The larger still life paintings are bold and dynamic, full of glorious colour and sunshine.

It really is a pleasure to be surrounded by this beautiful work as the daffodils raise their yellow bonnets to the sky and the first cherry blossom can be seen adorning the twiggy branches.

After a long dark winter, spring is definitely here, and what better way to celebrate than to get out into the countryside, enjoy the views, stopping at Smithy Gallery to enjoy the springiest view of all!

Thanks for reading!


Friday, March 09, 2012

Box of Delights

To accompany Laura Harrison's bold and beautiful solo exhibition, we have a fabulous selection of ceramics, sculpture and jewellery.

The colourful ceramics by Pauline Zelinski have been incredibly popular since coming to the gallery.  These individually crafted, hand-painted pieces have flown out the door as presents or personal treats. 


Anne Morrison's thoughtful figurative work is at once commanding and contemplative and I always like to see her little figures finding some respite in the warmth of the gallery!

In contrast, we have dynamic sculpture by the wonderful artist Lesley Carruthers.  Sculpted in aluminium with brushed corrian bases, I'm delighted to say that these dramatic pieces have found there way into several art-lovers' homes and gardens.

Our favourite jeweller Sarah Anderson has again come up with a beautiful collection for Spring.  Our cabinet is full of delights, from intricately hand-woven sterling silver designs to delicate pearl pieces.  All hand-made and just a little bit different, her work always attracts a crowd around the jewellery cabinet, and most people end up going home with a piece.

New to the gallery is work by Michael Lythgoe.  Inspired mainly by wildfowl and waders, his stylised representations are sculpted beautifully from wood.  He manages to perfectly capture the individual character of each species, and this elegant collection has drawn much admiration.

Of course we can't forget the gallery's resident pooch who proudly guards the paintings at night!  This beautiful sculpture by Christine Cummings is one of only two left of her collection.

Thank you to all the talented artists who make the gallery sing with delights!

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, March 06, 2012


I love it when a plan comes together.  There are so many elements that go into organising an exhibition.  So when it comes to the day when it's open to invited guests, there is always a moment of trepidation as you wonder whether all your efforts and belief in an artist's work will have the hoped-for response . . . .

On Sunday, the response to the opening of new paintings by Laura Harrison was wonderful.  As the doors opened at two o'clock, the sun streamed in and so did all the art-lovers and gallery-goers who didn't want to miss this special exhibition.

The bustling turnout echoed the energy and the beauty of this new collection of work, and I'm hoping everybody had a memorable day, enjoying this long-awaited solo exhibition coming at last to Smithy Gallery. 

Like many outstanding Scottish artists, in recent years Laura Harrison's output of paintings has mainly been exhibited and enjoyed in London.

So thank you to everybody who attended, but thank you most of all to the artist whose talent and work has brought pleasure to all the viewers.

This exciting exhibition continues until 8 April.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, March 02, 2012

Opens Sunday!

When I finish hanging a new one-person exhibition, and the artist comes to view before the all-important private view, it's hard to explain all the different emotions and factors that seem to matter.

Most importantly, the artist has created new and original works that exemplify their talent and unique expression.  I have the pleasure of hanging the work in the gallery in a way that hopefully shows each piece off to its best advantage, whilst maintaining that the gallery is itself a creative space with an energy all of its own.

When it works, it almost becomes a marriage - in my romantic mind anyway - when it works, it feels right.  If it didn't work, every observer would know about it.

This strong exhibition - New Paintings by Laura Harrison opens this Sunday - and I want to thank the artist (my beautiful and talented mum) for creating such an impressive collection of vibrant works that have brought the gallery to life in a brand new way.

We are celebrating the opening of this very special exhibition on Sunday 4 March, 2pm to 5pm with delicious canapes and much champagne.  You are all welcome.

Thanks for reading!