Thursday, 23 September 2010

Rays of Sunshine

Hello everyone

As always, a warm welcome to our latest blog follower.

The other day I made a point of going to Inverleith Park to see the sunflowers in the allotments there.

I do this every year and its a particularly nice thing to do at this time of the year. As Summer sneaks out by the backdoor and Autumn barges in, its nice to get a last blast of cheery colour. This year I enjoyed it more than usual as it reminds me of one of my favourite paintings in the Derek McGuire exhibition:

"Two Sunflowers in a Dark Garden" by Derek McGuire.
Stunning, I'm sure you will agree. Again, this isn't a huge painting yet the brush work and skill here is quite humbling. At first glance it may look quite dark, however there's lots of rich purples and royal blues which seep to the surface in certain lights......

Here it is captured in a fluke moment during the hanging of the exhibition. The cheerful sunflowers in the painting were given as seeds as a gift to Derek's two daughters, Jessie and Ella. Ella, of course, is a fundamental part in the title of the exhibition: Ella Novo Loco. I should point out that Jessie too has made a huge contribution to the exhibition....producing a work of her own!

"Two Butterflies on a Sunny Day" by Jessie McGuire. I think its fair to say Jessie has inherited her daddy's talent genes.Also, a BIG HELLO to all the children and staff at Oxgangs Nursery where this masterpice was created.
Will leave you with this:

"Carousel Horse" by Derek McGuire.
Also inspired by Oxgangs Nursery, Derek enjoys watching the children at the nursery playing with the rocking horse. I for one are really enjoy the painting. I am very, very tempted by this little jewel.

Speak soon

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Dog Day Afternoon

Hello Everyone

I am sure I'm not alone in noticing a sudden chill in the air.  This morning, in an attempt to warm myself up, I tried to take a brisk walk with Union Gallery hound, Tommy - although he clearly had other ideas:

Yes, he really is actually sleeping on that bench!
Anyway, feeling the chill whilst trying to walk the pooch immediately put me in mind of one of my favourite (I have 20 out of the 24) paintings from Derek McGuire's solo exhibition, Ella Novo Loco:

'Man and Dog' by Derek McGuire
I have to confess that in my excitment when unwrapping Derek's paintings, I initially missed the dog.  On discovering the hound's perfect head I got really excited.  Not purely because this painting appeals to me as a dog owner, but also because with the head only one centimeter in size, this is a perfect representation in every sense. 
How did Derek get this tiny section of a dog's head, just bounding off the end of the painting, to encapsulate all the joy, energy  and excitement of that special bond between man (and woman) and dog?  I guess, for lack of better words, it's because he's a brilliant artist - and practice makes perfect.
I should alos point out that this painting measures only 11x13cm in total!  A real treasure.

Leaving you with this:

Following the success of his superb exhibition at Union Gallery, artist Dylan Lisle has rewarded himself with a new companion for his studio......introducing Leda, ladies and gentleman.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Ponies and Popes

Hello everyone

Just a short blog today as I have lots to get done in preperation of Pope Benedict XVI's imminent visit to Edinburgh this week. Although he has not officialy replied to my invitation, I am sure he will come. I will be most interested to hear his feedback on exceptional artist Derek McGuire's work. In particular I think "Gun Cupboard" and "Cityscape with a Fear" will capture his imagination, being iconic paintings of our time. Alternatively, if these prove a little challenging then he might like "Expressionist Garden with Bees, Ponies and Unicorn" to brighten up the Vatican in its increasingly darkening days.

"Expressionist Garden with Bees, Ponies and Unicorn" by Derek McGuire.

"Cityscape with a Fear" by Derek McGuire. I knew this would look outstanding on a black background.
Lastly, leaving you with this:

This photo was taken ages ago, when Derek's exhibition was merely a few boards with some layers of paint on them. Even then, at the very bones of the exhibition, it was clear that is was going to be something pretty damn special. I remember standing staring at these notes as Derek spoke enthusiastically about his ideas. I was both shocked and amazed.
Anyway, must be off to now. Need to finish cleaning the gallery for Benedict.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Bottles, bottles everywhere!

Hello everyone

Yes, I have been know to partake of an occassional swallete myself.
However, I must stress that only two of the above bottles were my own doing. Last night we had a fabulous time hosting the opening of the Ella Novo Loco exhibition by award winning artist Derek McGuire.

Those who attended were not dissapointed and the general reaction was one of amazement. Yes, this really is a special exhibition and if you want to see some truly remarkable paintings this month, there's only one place to be.

All in all a great night. Enough vino to sink a destroyer, red wine up the walls, spot of dancing and red dots. What more could you ask for?

Again the joyous occassion was captured by our own Stewart Bremner (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU SIR) and you can watch it here.....

Special prize to the first person who can tell me how many bottles were drank!

Union Gallery – Derek McGuire preview from stewart bremner on Vimeo.

Have a great weekend all

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Goodbye and Hello

Hello All

The end of our Festival exhibition, 7 Artists: Edinburgh Soul, is nigh!  Monday is the very last day.
So Alison and I have that regular, slightly depressing feeling that we are about to lose a group of great friends - the paintings and sculpture that have kept us company over the last four and a half weeks.  When you're surrounded by work by some of the finest artists working in Edinburgh, it's hard not to get attached to them.  If you haven't been in yet, I strongly recommend that you try and find the time over the next couple of really is a superb exhibition.

Alison having a quiet moment with Graham Flack's 'I Wait for You' before it goes off to it's new home in Glasgow.

Award winning artist David Hosie having a look at "Mythopoeia" and a final look at "Anima" before she begins her journey to her new home in Germany.

As well as Graham Flack and David Hosie's brilliant work there are new paintings by Olivia Irvine, Michael McVeigh, Henry Kindracki and Philip Braham, and amazing bronze sculpture by the brilliant John Brazenall. A real feast for lovers of great art.

'Constellation 4' by Philip Braham 

'Father Son' by David Hosie

However, for all of you who think that September is a little bit of a cultural void after the overload of the Festival, I have some very good news for you.  Our next exhibition, opening on Thursday, is a collection of new work by the brilliant painter Derek McGuire, titled 'ELLA NOVO LOCO'. 

Derek McGuire is a lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art, and a painter of extraordinary depth and diversity.  His work will amuse you, confuse you, and definately challenge you.  This is an important exhibition, where the artist has used his unique voice to superb effect. 

If you look in The Scotsman on Monday, you will find an advert for this exhibition, along with an image of this painting:
'The Relaxing Pleasure of Shitting in the Woods' by Derek McGuire

In their wisdom, The Scotsman decided that the word 'shitting' was far too offensive for their readers, even though they seem to cope with the daily dose of murder, rape and cruelty.  So, they insisted on changing the title to 'The Relaxing Pleasure of Sh***ing in the Woods'.  I have only just stopped laughing at them.  How ridiculous.

Anyway, more on this exhibition will follow, but for those of you who like to be challenged and enthralled by their art, you really should come along in September.