Friday, 30 April 2010

MMM ~ Margaret Morris Movement

Jill is in Perth this weekend to take part in the MMM Art Rhthym and Dance Workshops and also take part in a performance in celebration of the Margaret Morris Movement Centenary Year.

Margaret Morris
was a dance pioneer and artist who was married to the Scottish Artist J D Fergusson.

The Fergusson Gallery in Perth
is hosting a special exhibition 'Fergus and Meg'.

Looking forward to hearing all about it when Jill gets back.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Holy Isle

The gallery Blog has been quiet as I have been on holiday and Jill has been working in the gallery on her own.

I'm just back from a few days on Holy Isle on a yoga retreat with French Iyengar Yoga teacher Patrick Le Roy and his partner Dominique Sevelli. It was the perfect setting for intensive practice and for deepening my understanding of Iyengar yoga. It was blissful to be away from absolutely everything. We had three classes a day, but without the responsibilities that come with normal day to day life there was still with lots of time to walk and chat to friends. We climbed the hill in the middle of the island and the panoramic views were spectacular.

On our last night the moon was almost full and shone like a giant torch in the sky. We walked the length of the island by moonlight. We could see Ailsa Craig clearly and seals were swimming in the sea bathed in moonlight as the oyster catchers and gulls shouted at them from the shore line.

Here are some photos of this very special place:

The island has Buddhist rock carving and paintings along the path to the two lighthouses.

There is a healing spring next to Saint Molaise's cave.

The rare Soay sheep were lambing and the lambs were absolutely gorgeous.

One of the wild Eriskay ponies gave birth to a foal while we were there.

I feel so lucky to have been able to spend such an enjoyable and restorative time in such a beautiful place.

Thursday, 22 April 2010


Glasgow is buzzing with lots of arts events for the Glasgow International Festival.

Today I walked down Jamaica Street to the river Clyde. The bridge there is paying host to a sound installation by Susan Philipsz. There is nothing to advertise its existence, so I wasn't sure I'd got the right bridge. I just sat down on a bench to enjoy the sunshine and then an eerie sounding folk song started.

I quite like the fact that there are no posters or anything and people will just happen upon it. The song 'Lowlands' really suited the space.

Here's a review from The Skinny.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Back from the printers

Our May Private View invitations came back from the printers today. I love opening up the box and seeing them for the first time but the excitement is always mixed with the fear that I may have made some terrible mistake with the design. Thankfully it's all looking good. They are probably a brighter yellow than I had seen on the screen but getting colours right is tricky at the best of times.

Now the endless envelope stuffing begins!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Sandy Murphy RSW RGI exhibition in Dumfries & Galloway Life Magazine

We are featured in the May issue of Dumfries & Galloway Life magazine (if you click on the picture above you will be able to read the article).

Journalist Mary Smith writes about our forthcoming exhibition in her Arts News section. This much anticipated exhibition will show new works by Sandy Murphy RSW RGI alongside the work of three printmakers; Hilke MacIntyre, Linda Farquharson and Frans Wesselman, with pottery by Margaret Brampton.

The exhibition brings lots of new faces to the gallery and we are looking forward to it enormously.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Emin on Sex and Sewing

Who'd have thought it, Tracey Emin on the cover of The Lady. I couldn't resist buying a copy for the novelty value alone when I saw it on the news stand.

Never read The Lady before; an article about old fashioned nannies, adverts for retirement villages and a huge classified section for domestic staff. Not really my thing, but it was interesting to see what it was all about.

Happy Birthday Jill

Happy Birthday Jill!

She's in London this weekend to celebrate her birthday and see The Real Van Gogh: The Artist And His Letters before it closes tomorrow.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Etching @ Glasgow Print Studio

I'm really enjoying my etching course at Glasgow Print Studio.

Last night we were learning aquatint. I enjoy the surprise element of printmaking and never quite knowing how things are going to turn out. We are using steel etching plates which already have quite a textured surface, so without burnishing, the background is already quite dark. You can see how dark the background of my print is which is frustrating, so next time I'm going to try copper which gives an almost white background.

For the purpose of the course we are using all the different etching techniques on one plate - I have already made soft ground and hard ground lines on the flamingos before adding tones with aquatint. I want to add some more definition so next week I'm going to add more hard ground lines to the print. The print above is very much an experiment and not a great work of art!

I've always been able to talk about etching techniques to customers in the gallery but this course has given me a much deeper understanding, and a new level of admiration for printmakers and what they achieve with these methods.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Flowers from a Friend of the Gallery

Primula Posy

Grape Hyacinths (note the white one!)

Flowers in a Sue Binns Jug

The last of the gravel was laid in the gallery garden today and the garden is looking great, very neat and tidy - it's been warm enough to have the back door open and customers have been able to wander out and enjoy the space.

Our friend Jo dropped in to see our exhibition and, as ever, came bearing gifts from her garden - tiny primroses, miniature daffodils and grape hyacinths, including a white one, which I've never seen before. I love the way we have a real band of local people who come to see every exhibition and really appreciate the gallery, this grows all the time and people are still discovering us.

Monday, 12 April 2010

A Spring Tidy Up In The Gallery Garden

Our friends Bob and Val came to give the gallery garden a Spring tidy up. They put a new layer of gravel down, and we're just waiting for another load to be delivered so we can finish laying it at the bottom of the garden.

The garden is bursting with daffodils so we've been picking them for the gallery spaces. The weather here has been quite idyllic, long may it continue... Scottish people seem to jump right into summer mode the second there's a chink of sunlight. Seeing people wandering past the gallery in nothing but a pair of shorts in April looked looked slightly premature (ne'er cast a cloot..., and all that) but it did make me smile.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Exhibition Review ~ The Galloway News

JAMES ORR West Coast Breakers acrylic on board 30.5 x 35.5 cm SOLD

Here's the review of our current exhibition which appeared in The Galloway News yesterday (the painting above is my favourite of James Orr's work in the exhibition - I love the tiny figures amongst the waves and the intense blue sky):

Spring in air in Castle Douglas

Castle Douglas is playing host to seven dynamically different artists in the new spring exhibition at McGill Duncan Gallery. It may still be cold and a bit rainy outside but the gallery is bursting with colour and warmth. To complement the beautiful art work Jill and ZoĆ« Blamire have filled the gallery with hyacinths, daffodils and primroses. ‘To us this exhibition is a celebration of the end of a very cold dark winter. The work is all very uplifting and vibrant and looking at it makes you feel good.’ said Jill, one of the gallery owners.

Only one of the artists lives in Galloway – Amanda Simmons, who has created new pieces inspired by hydrangeas for this spring exhibition. Her kiln formed etched glass bowls are sophisticated in their colour and form. A new wall piece – Tea Time Treats was created after Amanda spent time enjoying baking in her Corsock kitchen during a winter that saw her snowed in on more than one occasion. The pieces convey her delight in making cakes and serving them with proper cups and saucers. Amanda is taking a break from Spring Fling and not opening her studio during the event so this is a great opportunity to see her work locally. Her work is very much in demand nationally and 2010 will see her taking part in some major exhibitions.

Three of the artists, Michael J Ashcroft, Winifred Hodge and Rosie Villiers –Stuart, make frequent trips to Galloway to paint. Michael Ashcroft is particularly drawn to coastline around Kippford and Rockcliffe and there are sea scapes and village scenes by him including one of ‘The Ark’ shop in Kippford.

Winifred Hodge was born in Galloway and lived here for many years. She now lives in Wensleydale and is inspired by the hills of Galloway and Yorkshire, as well the seas around the Hebrides and the North West Coast of Scotland. Her work has proved very popular with customers.

Another popular gallery artist is Rosie Villiers-Stuart. In the past she has had an artist’s residency at Carlaverock, painting wild birds. She uses watercolour in a direct masterly way and makes very little marks, if any, on the paper before she starts painting. This style of working lends itself to painting ‘en plein air’ which she does on the Bass Rock and Treshnish Islands, painting Shags and Gannets whilst perched on cliffs.

Anitra Rushbrook paints still lives in oils. They have a still, peaceful, quality. This quality can be seen in her painting ‘Out of The Box’ : a small figurative sculpture standing in front of an empty box. Her palette is often very neutral but this show has seen her presenting new paintings in a richer palette such as ‘Fruit’ and ‘Purple Flowers’.

Dutch born artist Josephine Broekhuizen is a new face at the gallery. She comes from a long line of famous Hague School painters. Her work reflects her family life on the Isle of Arran where she paints from a large studio on her eight acre small holding.

Collectable artist James Orr has exhibited a selection of scenes from the West Coast of Scotland. The colour and vigour of his work mark him out as a distinctively Scottish artist. His colourful paintings balance perfectly with some of the more feminine works on show and create a display of great artistic talent in Castle Douglas not to be missed.

The exhibition runs until the 4th of May.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Missy and Niall

We had a surprise visit from Niall Duncan today, (founder of our gallery in the early 1980s) and his super wee dog Missy. Here's a photo of Jill having a cuddle from Missy.

I'm off to Glasgow now for my etching course tonight and Leo's single launch tomorrow at the Apple Store Buchanan Street (7pm all welcome).

Monday, 5 April 2010