Friday, November 29, 2013

The Fabulous Joyce Gunn Cairns MBE

We are showing three of the most amazing artists right now, so where to start when choosing who to write about first?

Out of Alasdair Gray, Joyce Gunn Cairns and Steven Camley, I have known the wonderful Joyce the longest and she has been a great inspiration to me as an artist and a friend, so I'll begin with her!

Toby and His Burd

I have been a huge fan of her work for years and really can't get enough of it.  Each piece that she creates is entirely unique.  Unmistakably hers, but a creation with a life and back story all of it's own.

Red Puss

She creates works with the lightest of touches, but with powerful undertones, often with literary origins, or steeped in personal experience.

Mutual Regard

Ultimately they are things of beauty whether her subject matter is the innocence of the robin to the complexity of love, to the realities of old age.  No subject is uninspiring to her, and therefore to the viewer.

The Robin Ower A' Birds is Blest

The works in this collection are fascinating as they cover such a spectrum of subject matter and it's fascinating to watch different people reacting and relating to the different paintings.  For more of Joyce's works, please check our Facebook page:

This exhibition with Alasdair Gray and Steven Camley continues until 22 December.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Preview

The Alasdair Gray, Joyce Gunn Cairns and Steven Camley exhibition previewed on Sunday and it was one our best exhibition openings.
With three such fabulous artists, all incredibly characterful as well, I was expecting a great preview and I wasn't disappointed.
Alasdair Gray
The crowds came out to see the great works by Alasdair Gray, the beautiful paintings by Edinburgh-based Joyce Gunn Cairns, and the cartoons by multi award-winning Herald cartoonist Steven Camley.
I was delighted to see that people had come from far and wide, and amongst the great atmosphere, the sales for all three just kept on coming.

This exhibition was originally requested by Alasdair Gray and I must thank him for wanting to exhibit with two such brilliant and fascinating artists such as Steven Camley and Joyce Gunn Cairns. 

Joyce Gunn Cairns with Steven Camley and his wife, Meg

These three artists are so entirely different and as Alasdair said, this what will make it work, and it does.  The exhibition looks beautiful, and all the works reveal so much more on closer inspection.

Fin the Whippet enjoying this beautiful Tom Allan sculpture

All three artist work with such meaning and layering within their work, but all from very different perspectives.

Me and Joyce at the end of a great day

A huge thank you to Joyce Gunn Cairns, Steven Camley, Alasdair Gray and their families and friends for making this such a fun and fabulous day.

This exhibition runs all the way up to Christmas.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Almost Ready

There is still a lot to do to be ready in time for Sunday's exhibition preview, but I think it's coming together quite nicely.
We are hanging beautiful works by three very different artists.  We have screen prints and original paintings by the inimitable Alasdair Gray. 
Most of Alasdair's works originated as illustrations for his writings.  They are incredibly bold on impact, and on closer inspection, so rich with meaning.

Paintings by Joyce Gunn Cairns can be delicate on impact but then the strength behind them slowly emerges until these subtle and beautiful works pack a real punch.  A formidable combination.

Steven Camley's exquisite cartoons again need a little attention and as the imagery, deft drawing and captions come together, the realisation of the amount of talent in these perfect cartoons hits you and you can't help smile and want one for yourself! 

So lots to get ready to give this special show a special preview.
We open this Sunday 24th, and the exhibition continues until 22nd December.
Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013


It's that time again when one exhibition comes down to make way for the new paintings that have arrived for the new show, demure in their bubble wrap, waiting patiently.

Our Liz Knox paintings have sadly left the building and the works by Alasdair Gray, Joyce Gunn Cairns and Steven Camley have now all arrived.

The best part is unwrapping them and feeling your heart quicken as you see the new work in person. Always good sign.

For weeks I work just with images of the paintings, but good paintings are always far better in person.


So far Alasdair's have made me gasp and look closer, Joyce's make my heart swell, and Steven's make me laugh.  And this is all in the first glances.
As I start to place the paintings, the gallery already takes on that new look.  New life is breathed into the space and I can't wait to get on and see the finished result.
Thankfully I have a good few days to do the work justice.  This exhibition previews this Sunday 24th, 2-5pm.
Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 15, 2013

All Change

Our attentions are now turning to the exciting exhibition that is coming next.

Artist and writer Alasdair Gray has chosen two of his favourite artists to exhibit with this winter.

Happily they are two of our favourites:  artist Joyce Gunn Cairns and Herald cartoonist Steven Camley, whose work couldn't be more contrasting, but this is going to make for a vibrant and exciting exhibition. 

Both of these artists are greatly admired at Smithy Gallery, and alongside the inimitable Alasdair Gray, we have an incomparable trio.

This three-person exhibition opens Sunday 24 November and continues until 22 December.

But we still have a weekend to go of our fabulous Liz Knox exhibition.  This has been a beautiful and bold experience and people have loved the colour and confidence of this exhibition, warming us all up just as winter approaches.
Thank you so much to Liz Knox for creating such a gorgeous collection of works that have been greatly admired, several of which are off to very happy homes.
This exhibition continues until Sunday and can be viewed on our website:
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Coming Soon . . . .

And now for something completely different . . . . .

Joyce Gunn Cairns
Joyce Gunn Cairns
We are more than a little excited that very soon we will be exhibiting three artists who are at the very top of their prospective fields.

Steven Camley
Each brings something entirely different, but they are linked by their utterly unique take on the world and their bold unabashed depiction of it from the very personal right up to the way world events affect us all.
One of Scotland's leading writers and artists

An artistic tour-de-force, awarded an MBE for services to the arts

The multi award-winning Herald satirical cartoonist 
Steven Camley
These three are giants of their fields and that is because each is uniquely talented and incredibly hard-working.  True artists if you will. They are not lucky or commercial, they each have the two qualities that make most of us stand in awe.  Most of us can muster the latter, but not the former.

Alasdair Gray
Alasdair Gray

This exhibition will be one of it's kind in it's strength and variety.  It previews on 24th November and runs until 22 December.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, November 08, 2013

Still Life?

Liz Knox is a well-known still life painter, but with a difference.  Still lifes can often be simply about the objects presented, or they can be about painting itself where the objects are used as a basis for creative use of tone and texture.

One Fallen Petal
A Liz Knox still life is full of meaning. At first the viewer sees the flowers in the foreground, but then on looking past realises that the background is full of objects and symbols.
Souvenirs and Sunflowers

This exhibition in entitled 'Flowers and Circumstances' and that is a huge clue to what the paintings represent.

By A Side Canal

A good painting captures your gaze, but a really wonderful painting captures your thought process and changes its course, drawing you in to another world if only for a moment.

Bright Anemones

Each Liz Knox painting achieves just that.  Each appears to be a still life painting, but they are far from still.
We are delighted to be exhibiting these beautiful paintings until 17 November.
Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 01, 2013


We have had a busy week since the Liz Knox exhibition, 'Flowers and Circumstances' opened on Sunday. 

Liz's work has a great following and she is also greatly admired by her contemporaries, a sign of a very good artist. Many artists were present at the private view and have also been in to see the exhibition since.

Liz in her Studio

Being one of Scotland's outstanding still life painters,she also gets a lot of coverage in the press, And this exhibition has been no exception.

Write-up by Jan Patience in The Daily Record

We are delighted with the response to the exhibition already.  To view the paintings, click on the link:

We are expecting a busy weekend.  Look out for an article in the Arts Section of Saturday's (3rd Nov) Herald.

Thanks for reading!