Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Laura Harrison - New Paintings

The invitations have gone out . . . . .

The adverts are announcing it's arrival . . . .

The paintings have arrived, and it's all go as the new paintings by Laura Harrison are placed around the gallery.  This is always an exciting time when the gallery is transformed into something new.

Looking about, it promises to be a dazzling exhibition.  The varied, colourful, bold and exciting paintings each stand out as something special.

The exhibition opens this Sunday, and I can't wait!

Thanks for reading!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Scotland's Best Kept Secret

This is a phrase that was coined by a very well known Scottish painter, referring to the artist Laura Harrison.  And I agree.  In my opinion, this artist is one of Scotland's most versatile and she has quite a following particularly at Smithy Gallery.  But her name isn't as well known as the talent demands.  Until now!

We are delighted to at last be having a solo exhibition of Laura Harrison's most recent works.  The work is arriving at the gallery now and the bubblewrap is being whipped off.  Each painting is a feast for the eyes and heart.  Her brush just oozes talent, and her still lifes and landscapes capture the viewer's attention and don't let go.  Here's a sneaky peak as the paintings arrive!

Her grounding during the heyday at Glasgow School of Art in the 60s can clearly be seen.  Her skill and her love of drawing and painting allow the expression and creativity to come out with a flourish.  Each painting is full of life, with appreciation for the subject but moreso for colour and for painting itself.

She has also created a series of small flower paintings for this exhibition which I just love.  Each one is quite beautiful and I definitely have to have one of them!

Laura Harrison's solo exhibition opens on Sunday 4 March at 2pm.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Get Them While They're Hot!

This is the final week of our Affordable Art Show and I'm pleased to say that it has been a wonderful success.  This annual exhibition usually is.  Everything is priced under £500 and we exhibit works by thirty or more successful Scottish artists, but this year it has been especially good.  And this is especially good news in these less than abundant times.

Visitor numbers have been up and consequently so have sales.  I'm so interested in what sells.  Artists and galleries have long wondered whether what sells is as random as the spin of the roulette wheel, or perhaps there is a general trend that the art-loving community is favouring.

I believe that there is something for everyone, but certain factors can't help but influence peoples' buying habits in general.  Constant talk in the media of purse strings naturally makes us more aware and more protective of them.  But people still want to be creative, to enhance their surroundings, acquire something unique and irreplaceable, and what I have noticed recently is perhaps the more unique the better. 

The gallery has been selling work that is exciting, thought-provoking and not to everyone's taste, and this makes my heart skip a beat.

I love talent expressed in all its endless forms, but I especially love it when it is fearless.   We are lucky that the artists we show at Smithy Gallery are individual, bold, subtle and thoughtful.  They are brave enough to express themselves for all to see - fearless.

Thank you to all the wonderful artists who have taken part in this exhibition.

No images today, you will have to use your boundless imagination!  Or better still, visit the gallery to see for yourself.  The exhibition continues until Sunday 26 February.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Roll on Spring!

Am I allowed to say that Spring is in the air yet?  Well it is for me!  I've been immersed in the beautiful paintings that make up our next exhibition opening 4 March.  New Paintings by Laura Harrison.

These beauties are bold, confident and optimistic.  I've been creating an invitation brochure that is hopefully worthy of the work.  It takes time working with all of the images, but it gives me a great chance to absorb every detail of the paintings, which I love.

These are three of my favourite paintings at the moment.  I love the life and movement injected into these 'still' lifes, and also the seeming simplicity of these beautiful tulips and snowflake flowers.

I think they are very clever paintings, but mainly they are a feast for the heart and soul.

There has been a lot of interest in this work already.  Please contact the gallery if you would like to receive a brochure.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It Must Be Love

Love is in the air . . . . I know, but you can choose to ignore Valentine's Day, or you can open your heart to a little loving.  Be it a plate of pasta, a small kitten, or a stunning painting you just have to have!

Here are a couple of beauties gracing the walls of the gallery at the moment.

Stunning . . . .

Kevin Low

Fabulous . . . . . .

Emma Waine

Intriguing . . . .

Gordon Wilson

And oh so cute . . . . . sorry, couldn't resist!

This isn't in the gallery

We at Smithy Gallery love dogs too.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Selling Well

They say blondes have more fun.  I think this Blonde is looking slightly perturbed because she is the only painting left out of Margaretann Bennett's collection of four at The Affordable Art Show (the three that sold were brunettes. . . . just saying . . .).

As I brush back my long dark hair, I'm pondering how well most of the artists are doing at our annual  Affordable Art Show.  Many are selling three or more paintings out of their collections of up to six.  Emma Waine (below) has only one left.

Lovely Marion Thomson (below) has sold three of her five.  I'm so proud when the artists sell well, but of course in an ideal world, I want everyone to sell just as well.

As always, it's almost impossible to predict which paintings will or wont sell, but sometimes I am surprised when an artist whose work I love hasn't sold.  George Grant's work is sensitive, evocative and compelling.  He's been popular at Smithy Gallery for a long time, and he has given us these beautiful small works.

I am interested in George's work because it stands out as something different.  The edges are curved because he paints directly onto a wooden panel shaped that way.  He works on layers and layers, building up a feeling as much as a impression of the landscape.

You really do feel something when you look at them, like you've have just caught a unique moment before the light changes.  This one is called Postcard From Ailsa.  Over the painting, the artist transcribes an old original letter or postcard.  It's sweet and romantic and just lovely.

We've still got two weeks to go though and many more paintings to sell!  I wonder what will be next . . . .

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Darling Buds

I saw buds today, no question.  Either crocus or snowdrop, pushing there way upwards, defying the icy soil and reminding me that . . . . spring is on the way!

Perfect timing for the exhibition we have planned for the beginning of March.  Laura Harrison is well known for her still life and landscape paintings, but she has been creating a beautiful series of flower paintings. 

Her work is very much about paint, texture and colour, and flowers are a perfect subject with which to convey energy, optimism and beauty.

Laura Harrison is well known at Smithy Gallery and there has been quite a bit of demand already for images of the new paintings, so here is a taster of some of the vivid flower paintings that will be part of the exhibition.

Spring is definitely in the air with sweet peas, tulips, daisies, and colour colour colour!  But there is a joyful energy about the paintings that makes them extra special.

They are even more vibrant and beautiful in person.   These are all smaller paintings and judging from her sales in the current Affordable Art Show, will be snapped up early on.  The brochures will be sent out soon, so please note any interest as soon as possible. 

New Paintings by Laura Harrison opens 4th March.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, February 03, 2012

A Good Year

What a start to the year it's been!  I'm so pleased to say that this, our fourth annual Affordable Art Show, is doing better than ever.  Since it opened last Sunday, twenty-two paintings have sold, and twenty-one pieces of sculpture and ceramic!

I like to use numbers because it shows in black and white that it's still possible to thrive in the art world.  The importance of art in our lives is still being recognised, and the talent that we have in Scotland is not only being appreciated, but it's being snapped up.

So what can follow such a successful show . . . .  The diary of exhibitions for the year is I think, one of the most exciting we've had.  With Smithy Gallery favourites, together with well known collectible Scottish artists who haven't exhibited with us before, the diary for the year is looking more than good.  Here's a sneak preview:

In March, we have a long-awaited solo exhibition by Scottish colourist Laura Harrison . . . .

In April, we are showing works by the famed Alasdair Gray in a two-person exhibition with Joyce Gunn Cairns MBE, who I think is his east coast match . . . .

In May/June we have a group exhibition of works by acclaimed artists Kirsty Wither, Christopher Wood RSW, Hazel Nagl, Kevin Low and David Schofield.  This will be a stunning showcase of artistic talent from bold expression, to intricate narrative detail.  A must-see!

And then we have the honour of holding a memorial exhibition for the much-loved Carlo Rossi RSW RGI, who died in 2010 at the age of eighty nine.  A wonderful painter and a wonderful man.

In August a three person exhibition with David Martin RSW RGI, Sian MacQueen RSW and Charles Simpson.

In September, I'm delighted to be exhibiting new paintings by Sandy Murphy RSW RGI PAI again.  This time he will be showing in a four person show with his chosen contemporaries.

I've whizzed through most of the year, and so many possible paintings have whizzed through my  mind, so I should stop here before I exhaust myself with anticipation!

And I don't wish to give it all away just yet anyway, so you will just have to stay tuned! 

But I think it will be a good year.

Thanks for reading!