Monday, 31 August 2009

Lots of new paintings arrive in the rain.

Jill with Allan Beveridge

The rain was unabated today but in spite of that there was lots going on at the gallery. Allan Beveridge delivered the work of his and his fellow artists from 'The Artists' Lunch' - a group of artists from the Dundee area. They are all taking part in our next exhibition. He also brought Joe McIntyre's work, as he comes from the same part of the country. The paintings were very cleverly packed - he manged to fit a whole exhibition's worth in his estate car!

We have a busy week ahead getting everything ready for the new show. I always love unwrapping the new work and we are already thinking about the best way to hang the exhibition, along with displaying lots of new pottery.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Galloway Paintings and Sculpture from Italy

Our Galloway Paintings exhibition closed today. It was as poplar as ever and we have become very fond of all the work on show. Here's a review of the show which appeared in the Galloway News on Thursday:

Galloway Paintings and Sculpture from Italy

Those with an interest in the history of Galloway, as well as art lovers, will enjoy the latest exhibition at McGill Duncan Gallery in Castle Douglas. The gallery is showing Scottish paintings from the 19th Century onwards with a particular slant towards painters who lived and worked in Galloway. There is a significant body of work from two local artists in particular: William Stuart McGeorge RSA and Alick Riddell Strurrock RSA. The centrepiece of the exhibition is an impressive painting by McGeorge of the bridge at Tongland near Kirkcudbright, soft colours and masterly impressionistic brushstrokes make the work extremely decorative and this is balanced by the strength of the composition and structure of the bridge. Many local people will know the spot as a great place to watch salmon leap.

McGeorge (1861-1931), who was born in Castle Douglas, was a member of the Kirkcudbright School of painters and studied at Antwerp Academy with Hornel. Hornel influenced his work but a later disagreement ended their friendship.

Sturrock settled in Gatehouse after the War, having previously studied at the Royal Scottish Academy Life School and Edinburgh Collage of Art. He had also travelled extensively on a Scholarship awarded to him at the Royal Scottish Academy. Sturrock is known for his paintings of trees and the exhibition shows a wide range of his paintings as well as a pencil drawing of his and his wife’s favourite ‘picnicking spot’ at Anwoth Woods near Gatehouse.

Many of the artists featured in this show are also starring in the ‘Home Again’ Exhibition at Kirkcudbright Town Hall. Zoë Blamire who runs the gallery with her mother Jill Blamire said ‘We love this yearly exhibition as it’s such a privilege to sell work by such prestigious Scottish artists. We always learn more about their history as the exhibition goes on, as local people have a lot of knowledge and interest in this work.’

The work of an artist who casts his sculptures in bronze is also on show at the gallery. It is contemporary but sits well with the older paintings and their impressive gilt frames. Sculptor Richard W. Boardman lives and works in Lucca, Italy. His sculptures are cast at the prestigious Bronzarte foundry in Pietrasanta Italy. Pietrasanta has one of the best reputations in the world, artists such a Henry Moore had their work cast there.

Animals Sculpture makes up the body of work in the exhibition and the influence of folk stories from Richards’s Russian heritage is evident in their form. A large bronze Elephant graces the gallery window and the work is so tactile that people are drawn to give him a pat as they walk into the gallery. A striking double fountain of two foxes has been installed in the largest gallery space and there is a further fish fountain in the gallery space that looks out towards the garden.

The magical gallery garden at the back of the building has proved the perfect space for exhibiting sculpture. A bird fountain was installed in the garden by Richard for the Opening Day of the exhibition but it was sold straight away and has already been installed in it’s new home!

Getting 28 bronze sculptures from Italy took a lot of planning and Jill and Zoë Blamire have been working to bring this work to the gallery for over two years. ‘We knew we wanted Richards work in the gallery even before we opened, but we wanted to wait until we were established and had a couple of years worth of exhibitions under our belt before we attempted such an ambitious project. It has taken a lot of work and organisation but we were delighted when the crates of sculpture finally arrived from Italy. It was a very exciting day for us.’

McGill Duncan Gallery lends itself very well to displaying an exhibition of sculpture as the gallery has a meandering space filled with interesting nooks and crannies for displaying the work – round every corner you will find many different creatures, including a seal, squirrel, chicken, a fox; and even a fox with wings! The Galloway Paintings exhibition runs until the 29th of August and the Bronze Sculptures and Fountains are in the gallery until the end of October.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Adrian McMurchie

ADRIAN B McMURCHIE Flying Visit to London watercolour £350

We have new work in the gallery by Glasgow based artist and illustrator Adrian B. McMurchie.

Many of you will be familiar with his weekly illustrations in The Sunday Herald which accompany Joanna Blythman's restaurant reviews. Adrian is well known for his drawings of iconic buildings both in Scotland and around the world.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

The Discovery of Spain - Goya to Picasso

I had the chance of a flying visit to Edinburgh this week. I really enjoyed going round the galleries, coffee in Glass and Thompson, and just being in Edinburgh during the Festival.

I would say that the exhibition at the National Gallery of Scotland 'The Discovery of Spain' is outstanding, and if you get the chance you should go before it closes on the 11th of October. Many of the paintings were familiar to me, coming from both the National Galleries in Edinburgh and London, but it was good to see them with other works from the same place in history.

The exhibition is spread over seven different themed rooms. I really enjoyed the 'Colour and Light' room with British artists such as Sir David Wilkie and Arthur Melville who had been inspired by visits to the country. I had a holiday in Spain for the first time this year and some of their paintings really captured the happy memories I have of the landscape and buildings, and most of all the extraordinary light. It was a rainy August day in Edinburgh so it did make me want to escape to the sunshine once again!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

New greetings cards in the gallery...

We have a lovely new range of cards in the gallery. Richard W. Boardman, who made the bronze sculptures in our current exhibition, is also a talented illustrator and has had a range of cards published. We have six different designs for sale and I think they are quite delightful.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

The Sunday Times

I was very excited when I opened The Sunday Times this morning and saw this little piglet on the pages of the Home section.

Richard W. Boardman's bronze piglet is from our new exhibition.

The exhibition is featured in the 'garden cuttings' section as all the bronzes do of course look beautiful in the garden, as well as indoors.

The opening day

What a busy and enjoyable time we've had in the gallery recently... I have been too busy to Blog and now don't know where to start with all the news.

On Thursday I picked up Richard Boardman and his wife Patrice Lombardi from the train and we had a really enjoyable dinner together.

After a lot of preparation in the weeks before, on Friday we hung the exhibition and installed the sculptures. Emily and Athina came down from Bourne Fine Art in Edinburgh to hang the pictures with us and Richard and Patrice set up all the fountains.

Richard and Patrice installing the Fish fountain.

Richard with his Chicken bronze in the garden.

After a week of rain the weather was fabulous and we were able to set up the Richard's work in the garden, including his wonderful bird fountain.

On Saturday the opening of our Galloway Paintings exhibition and Richard W. Boardman's bronze sculpture exhibition, went with a swing. There were lots of people waiting to come in when I opened the doors at 11am and lots of red dots were soon on the the walls! We are extremely proud of the work in this show and it was so rewarding to see the enthusiasm our customers had for the work on show.

I'm hoping other people will have taken some photos of the opening as I was rushing around too much to think about taking photos, but here are a couple from our garden. It was the perfect place to sip Pimm's and enjoy Richard's work.

More to follow!