Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mum's The Word

I'm so pleased to announce that I will at last be having a solo exhibition of new paintings by Laura Harrison, opening at the beginning of March.

She is one of Scotland's best kept secrets, and I plan to change that with this exhibition.

She studied at Glasgow School of Art in the 1960s under David Donaldson, Limner to the Queen, and is a true painterly product of the Art School in what I believe to be its heyday. 

Some of Scotland's greatest talent emerged at this time.  The 60s were such a powerful time, when the constraints on freedom of expression were being loosened, yet the artists were still under the umbrella of focused tutelage on the foundations of painting and drawing.  There were mighty talents teaching at the school at this time, and they made sure students had the privilege of both structure and the freedom to express.

Laura Harrison has been a collectable painter for years.  She has shown with Smithy Gallery several times in group exhibitions and has always been one of our best sellers.

But this will be her first solo exhibition with us, and that's why I'm excited because the work needs to be seen en masse for it's strength and beauty to be fully appreciated.  The new paintings are beautiful.  Bold and vibrant still lifes and landscapes.  It will make for a strong and exciting exhibition.  Just what I like!

And yes, she is also my mum, she gave me my love of art, and is my main inspiration. 
We all know that family can be our biggest critics, so when I say that these paintings are very, very good, you know that I mean it.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, January 27, 2012


I'm so pleased to say that The Affordable Art Show is going well.  The lovely little paintings have been flying off the walls (well not really, I like to keep my paws on the sold paintings until the exhibition ends - well it takes me ages to hang, and they look so good together!).

When all seems to be on the negative side in the news, it's so heartening to see not only beautiful, unique works being produced by hard-working artists - something that I don't think will ever change - but also to see other people taking such enjoyment in them, and then treating themselves to something special.

Perhaps I spend too much time listening to the the news, but all I need to do is to look around the gallery, and I find myself inspired again. Today I'm loving this little head by Margaretann Bennett RSW.  I love that look, it draws you in.

And this little painting by Alice McMurrough makes me smile and gives me shivers all at the same time, fabulous!

Whatever is going on in the world, it's so important to find inspiration however you find it.  Creativity is such a positive force: art in all it's never ending guises.  Sometimes it's all around us, sometimes we have to seek it out.  This is why I think galleries are important. 

I believe art can be found in many things, but you should be guaranteed it when you visit a gallery.  And you may not come away with a painting, but it would be my greatest wish that you would come away with a little inspiration.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Opening

You never really know how well an exhibition opening is going to go.  One Private View is always a little different from the last.  This makes it exciting and a little nerve-wracking!

My thinking is this: as long as the work is exceptional - check!  The hanging is done as well as possible - check!  And you lavish your guests with champagne, canapes, music - check, check, check!  The rest is up to the atmosphere created by each and every person that comes.

And the atmosphere on Sunday was fabulous.  The moment we opened at 2pm, people arrived en masse and everyone seemed to be smiling and on and on it went.  Twenty-six pieces sold, canapes vanished, champagne ran dry (always a sign of an opening above and beyond my imagination. Don't worry, it won't happen again!).

It was a fabulous party and I enjoyed every minute of it.  Thank you to all the art-lovers who came and enjoyed the show, and of course to the artists for the beautiful and eclectic work that made for a very successful start to a very Affordable Art Show.

Here is a little celebration of some of the beautiful paintings that sold:

Emma Waine's beautiful abstract piece, Indian Details.  She's our youngest artist, fearless, and very much a rising star. . . .

The inimitable Gordon Wilson - already a star!  This is Bea and Bee . . . .

The newly appointed RSW, Sian MacQueen.  This is Midnight Rhino, I'm a huge fan of her work and we will be having a three-person show with her later this year . . . .

Our eldest artist, the highly esteemed David Martin RSW RGI.  This is Mandolin and Pears and I am always delighted that he gives me small works for our annual Affordable Art Show.  He's a very busy man . . . .

Just a small taster of the many beautiful pieces that sold.  Of course we have many more paintings from these and many more artists.  The exhibition continues until 26th February.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Get Ready For Sunday!

I'm almost ready for The Affordable Art Show private viewing on Sunday.  As all the paintings come together on the walls, I feel like I'm holding my breath until the very last one fits, and then. . . . . I look around and it's like finishing a Rubik's cube (I only ever got two sides, so I'm using my imagination!).  Suddenly, the whole gallery seems to come alive and it's a wonderful feeling.

You see, that's why the hanging of an exhibition is so important to me.  When it works, it's as if the gallery has had new life breathed into it - it's entirely different, and I love the effect it has on me.  It's like beautiful fresh air.

So almost one hundred paintings have been hung, from around twenty-five of Scotland's best and most interesting artists.  I can't wait to see the reaction on Sunday.  Ooh, here's a taster!

We have Margaretann Bennett RSW . . . .

Alice McMurrough (I'm thinking many many things, but it's Ghostbusters that springs to mind!) . . . . .

Gordon Wilson (I love this tender painting, but you have to see it in person) . . . . .

George Grant (esoteric, atmospheric, evocative, only words that begin with vowels!) . .. . .

And Kevin Low (digital painter extraordinaire, yes digital!  Creativity is creativity and beauty is beauty) . . . . . .

There are so many more diverse paintings included in this exhibition.  Come this Sunday, 2pm to 5pm for champagne, canapes, music and then you can see for yourself.
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Artist

I just saw the film The Artist at the cinema.  Sometimes I think we feel we have seen it all, that we almost expect to be disappointed.  Isn't is wonderful when something is even better than you expected.  The attention to detail was stunning. It was sweet, funny, uplifting.  And it was original.

As much as I like a little familiarity in my life, originality is what I'm looking for.  I have invited the artists that I admire to exhibit in The Affordable Art Show, opening this Sunday.   Around twenty-five have come to the gallery with their collections of paintings, wrapped up like secrets.

I know each artist's work well, but every so often, when I peel back the bubble wrap . . .boom!  It's like a new sensation.  Just fabulous, one of the best feelings!  And yes, I got it with this.  Kevin Low's 'The Dancer Grace Han All Done Up Like Spring'.

Captivating, beautiful, and just a little bit different from traditional painting. 

Yes, this artist has just what I'm looking for.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Good News!

I love this bit.  After much organisation, the invitations for the new exhibition have gone out, and the new paintings are starting to arrive!   We always vary our exhibitions throughout the year, but the first show of the year is always our Affordable Art Show.

All of my favourite artists are invited, usually around twenty-five of them, and the one stipulaton is that everything is to be under £500.  Anything else goes!  This leads to a fabulous collection of work, bursting with colour, variety, and of course, Scottish talent.

My heart skips a beat as each artist comes through the door with several new pieces.  It's also lovely for me to catch up with everyone after the new year break.  I am very lucky that all the artists I work with are people I like, many of whom I consider friends.  So a lot of coffee is drunk as we discuss the new work beginning to build up around us, and of course the art world in general. 

I'm pleased to say that so many of the artists I spoke to today are selling well and having a busy time, when all is portrayed as doom and gloom.  It's not, so spread the word!

And come to our Affordable Art Show on 22 January to see for yourselves!

Thanks for reading


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's Affordable!

The best thing about this time of year is our jam-packed Affordable Art Show which kick starts every year, like a strong cup of coffee!

We invite all of our favourite artists to exhibit a selection of paintings under £500.  The works tend to be smaller, and we hang 'em high, so art-lovers have a lot more to choose from! 

Here's a taster from the fabulous Gordon Wilson - My Boy and The Bee - gorgeous!  I love this.  We will be showing several paintings by Gordon, and also Sian MacQueen RSW, Emma Waine, David Martin RSW RGI, Laura Harrison, Tracy Butler, Ronald Smith RSW RGI plus many many more wonderful Scottish artists.

It's also a great time to introduce new artists to the gallery.  I have invited a couple of exciting artists and can't wait to see the reactions to their work.

The exhibition opens Sunday 22nd January with champagne and canapes for those who found they didn't indulge enough over Christmas!  Please contact the gallery for an invitation.

Thanks for reading!