Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Comfort and Joy

I've been desperately trying to hold onto Autumn, but I think it might be time to let it go. . . . but look, I have this to console me,  the Winter Exhibition is now open! 

The gallery is filled with paintings, ceramics and jewellery by over twenty-five brilliant artists. And it's a delight to see such vibrancy and beauty during this cold, grey, and today, completely soaking time of year.

Okay, it's winter, who am I kidding!  But people have been streaming through the Smithy doors today to see the show.  And such lovely customers they are.  I have a bad cold and have even lost my voice, but they don't seem to mind me communicating through sign language.  Maybe it's better that way . . . . Some have even taken pity on me and are buying early Christmas presents to cheer me up.  Possibly not the main reason, but it has cheered me up!

What has also cheered me up is the beautiful new work that is surrounding me. Look at the stunning figurative painting above by newcomer to Smithy Gallery, Felix Daly.  It is truly beautiful, and I can't wait to see what this young artist does next.

I have many more beautiful works to share with you, but today Felix's painting is my favourite, it's so calming and comforting.  Much more to come though!

Thanks for reading!


Friday, November 25, 2011

The Big Day

I'm tired, but I'm happy. 

I'm really pleased to say that I have just finished hanging a new exhibition.  The Winter exhibition.  It's really the Christmas exhibition, but I think that lovely word sometimes has a 'come and buy something or else!' tone about it, when the gallery is more about 'come and enjoy, relax, peruse . . . . . '

' . . . . . and then buy, because you simply can't live without that beautiful unique piece of art that will enhance your home and your life forever!' 

I love, love, love hanging exhibitions.  It's like a huge puzzle that I have to solve, fitting all of these glorious works into the gallery, ensuring each and every one of them shines out, whilst creating a beautiful and balanced space.

The atmosphere in the gallery is very important to me.  I guess it's like my home, except the artists that I like and respect have entrusted me to take care of, and show off their hard work and talent.  It's very important to me that their work is showcased properly. 

So I hope I've done a good job.  I guess I shall find out when the exhibition opens this Sunday.  Ooh, did I mention it's the gallery's birthday that day?!  Six years old!  A baby really.  Well, a handful that's talking back!  And it is.  It's full of life, some surprises and lots of treats.

So please come to the show this Sunday.  I would love to see you there.  Birthday cards and presents are all welcome . . . . !

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tiptoeing Through The Talent!

The wonderful Margaretann Bennett RSW came to the gallery today to collect her unsold paintings, and I have to say, she didn't have too many to collect.  The exhibition was an incredibly well-deserved success. 

As we carefully wrapped her pieces, we tiptoed through the new paintings that have arrived for our Winter Exhibition.  All eighty-five of them!

We have paintings by David Martin RSW RGI, Ronald Smith RSW RGI, Henry Fraser, Marj Bond RSW, Gordon Wilson, Laura Harrison, Sian MacQueen RSW, David Smith RSW, Marion Thomson, George Grant, Joyce Gunn Cairns MBE . . . .  and on and on . . . . a Christmas exravaganza!

As I ever-so-sadly wrapped up the last of Margaretann's wonderful show, my heart skipped a little beat when I thought, well that David Martin could go there, and that Ronald Smith would look amazing over there!  And my mind started to race as I could see the challenge of making sure that so many beautiful and different paintings sat happily together in the gallery space.

I am so lucky to be surrounded by such beauty and talent, which I will share with you over the coming weeks.  It is why it's so important to me to do the artists' work justice by hanging them as beautifully as possible.

Now fitting it all in . . . well that's another thing . . . .

Thanks for reading!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Beauty and The Beast

There are two paintings in the Margaretann Bennett RSW exhibition that I'm surprised haven't sold yet. Okay, predicting what's going to sell is almost impossible, that's one of the things I enjoy, but there are two paintings that have had a lot of admiration and comment from different people, and when that happens, it usually means they will be off to a good home sooner rather than later.

Beauty here is called 'Stung'.  She's wee and demure and very pretty.  She has been admired from the day she arrived in the gallery.  And then there's this wee beastie . . . .

He's called 'Hugger', he's wee, he's had a tough time, but anyone can see he just needs a little love and attention!  Sorry I called you a wee beastie Hugger!

I don't often talk to the paintings, but there is something about Margaretann's characters that feel full of life, stories and mischief.  I've enjoyed them for almost four weeks, and have only two more days left with them.

Thanks Margaretann, and well done for such a successful show.  I'll miss them when they're gone!

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Last Week

The Margaretann Bennett RSW solo exhibition ends this Sunday and it has been an absolute joy. 

I have loved the way the gallery has felt, how it has been transformed into a desirable rogues' gallery of mischievous, mysterious, playful personalities.  Each painting is a thing of beauty, layered with story-telling and intricate work, the secrets behind which only Margaretann knows.

She has already sold twenty of her paintings, which reflects the overwhelming appreciation and desire people have for this beautiful work.  The unsold paintings are just as stunning as the sold ones.  Take Lady Vengeance here!

I hope I can find a good home for her before Sunday.  She looks like she could do with some TLC!

In this difficult climate,  it is so reassuring and inspiring to see that hard work, dedication and most of all talent, don't go unnoticed.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Mixing It Up

It's all change at the end of the month.  Our winter exhibition is going to be bright, beautiful, and fabulously eclectic!

At Smithy Gallery we like to show the best of Scottish art, and the best Scottish artists are bold, distinctive and unlike anybody else.  Take Batman here!  This is 'Self Portrait as a Superhero' by well known Edinburgh artist, Henry Fraser.  I love it, and I might have to have it!

This is a stunning painting by David Martin RSW RGI, and as far as I am concerned, he is a new old master.

This is the delicate touch of Marion Thomson.  I just love some warm looking snow, like marshmallow!

And figurative work by the fearless Gordon Wilson has the direct approach that people admire.  You can't avoid 'Roister Doister's' gaze, and why would you want to!

And brand new to Smithy Gallery, the wonderful Felix Daly.  I hope sleeping beauty here keeps warm this winter.  She is also going to be the face of this exhibition, she's on the front cover of our invitation.  Look out for yours, or contact the gallery if you would like to receive one.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Joyce Gunn Cairns MBE

I'm preparing for the upcoming Winter exhibition.  After three solo exhibitions, this will be something very different, with work from over twenty-five invited artists.  An extravaganza, a cornucopia, an abundance of art - a big mixed exhibition by the finest artists Scotland has to offer!

And here's one of them - beautiful Joyce Gunn Cairns MBE.  From Edinburgh, Joyce is an exquisite artist whose work I feel very lucky to be able to show.  She is incredibly well known on the east coast, but I've managed to smuggle some work of hers over to the west!

I am a huge fan of her work.  The paintings are steeped in beauty, pain and tenderness, each one full of meaning.

Subtle in tone, these gentle works manage to exude strength, capturing your eye and your imagination.

Joyce herself is viewed as one of the doyennes of the Edinburgh art scene.  Other artists look up to her, often seeking out her counsel.  She's a very special lady and although she likes to keep it under her hat, she does much good work for the underprivileged.  She doesn't have an MBE for nothing (sorry Joyce!).

She is true artist, filled with zest and dynamism, and we are so lucky to be showing some of her beautiful new works.

The Winter exhibition opens 27 November.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, November 04, 2011

Love At First Sight

I visited the fabulous artist David Martin RSW RGI today to collect some new paintings for the upcoming Winter Exhibition.  I am privileged enough to be invited to his studio to choose what I would like to show at the gallery.  I was blown over by some of his new work.  He has always been one of my favourite artists, but when I clapped eyes on this painting . . . . .

 . . . . . it was love at first sight.  Pure and simple love!  It's called The Round Table, it's huge, and it's so much more vibrant in real life.  I swooned, but as he told me no, not that one, that it's destined for London at some point for one of his solo exhibitions, my face fell as quickly as my heart had flown.  

He directed me to other paintings, but must have noticed my neck craning, a small tremble in my lower lip. Okay, I just came out and begged!  Please please, that one!!  Boo to London and their fancy ways, give it to me!  I'm paraphrasing.  I'm sure, I think, I was more subtle than that . . . .

David is almost 89 years old and sharp as a tack.  He came round pretty quickly, probably convinced it wouldn't fit in my car - and he was right!  After futile attempts, I gave up and slumped at the disappointment.

And this is how lovely David is.  He realised I really did care about the painting, and insisted that we change the frame, find one a little less wide so that it would fit in the car.  And we did.  Together we reframed this beautiful work in the perfect frame for it, and my car!  I was so incredibly touched by his consideration for my admiration of the painting. 

You see, love can conquer all.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A Private Affair

I'm doing something out of the ordinary tomorrow.  I'm having a private luncheon at the gallery. 

The gallery has been a venue for several evening dos which always go down well, but this is the first daytime function.  This has been timed to coincide with the Margaretann Bennett RSW exhibition as the hostess is a particular fan of her work.  She wants to introduce some of her friends to Margaretann's work, but she also loves the idea of such a dramatic backdrop for this important occasion.

So I have cleared the floor and rearranged all the sculpture and ceramics to accommodate a large banqueting table, and polished up my tables which are awaiting a beautiful buffet luncheon created by local caterers Pestle and Mortar.  

It will be lovely to see the gallery as a venue for a bustling, happy occasion and it will be interesting to see the reaction to Margaretann's collection from the newcomers to her work.


Margaretann's 'The Biscuit Thieves' happen to be positioned above what will be the buffet table - I do hope they don't help themselves!

By all accounts, the ladies who will be luncheoning are a very elegant gathering, so I also hope that Lady Vengeance . . . .


. . . . Slink

 . . . . and Shaman

 . . . . behave themselves!

Thanks for reading!