Sunday, 19 December 2010

Bird Watching

Hello everyone

So now we have done the fish, it's time for the birds.
And there are some stunning species in Union Gallery's Christmas Exhibition.
Lets start with an all time favourite:

"A Bird in the Bush" by Janet Melrose.
Award winning artist Janet Melrose painted this earlier on in the year, outside in her garden. She tells me that the subject of the work...Mr Blackbird....accidentally flew into the canvas! I like that story, a little bit of history about the painting's creation. The frosty blue pallete is very fitting for the time of the year!

"Green Still Life" by Suzanne Kemplay.
Mmmm. I rather like this painting. Months in the making, that's a hungry little bird in the foreground!

"Sand Martins" by Sally Johns.
The actual birds are done in pastel, but you would be forgiven for thinking they were painted. The be-spoke round frames add to the curiosity factor.
And finally:

"Flat Pack Bird Cage" by Jessica Irena Smith.
Oh folks, this is something else and right up my street! The skill in the making process of this glass cage is quite staggering. Let me know if you want to learn more...prepare to be amazed!
Here was the exciting moment the flat pack arrived with Jessica....

Leaving you with this:

Posted in by lovely artist Ruth Addinall. Another Mr Blackbird, a favourite subject of Ruth's, is checking out the new arrival in the garden. You will be seeing more of Ruth's superb work in the New Year.

Have a warm and happy weekend all x

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Something Fishy

Hello everyone

As promised we are continuing on the fish theme:

Mark Nicholas Edward's "Sasaki Kojiro" series continue to amaze all who see them.  The attention to detail and slick presentation is quite mesmerising.
Also mesmerising:

"The Goldfish" by Drummond Mayo.
I probably don't need to point out how beautiful this painting is.  Drummond is the oldest artist who works with Union Gallery, and his life-long experience with paint and brush is clear for all to see.  A brilliant balancing act between colour and composition...the softness of his work puts those who see it under a spell.

"Two Figures in a Red Garden" by Jean Hall
When I look at these graceful and enchanting ladies, it seems to me that the lady on the right is sporting a regal angelfish on her kimono.  However, I am wrong as artist Jean Hall explains to me that this is actually a traditional Japanese Kimono design.  You know what fascinates me about Jean Hall's paintings (apart from the obvious)?  They are very striking paintings with a great deal of impact, and yet they are very calming and therapeutic to spend time with.  Lovely. 

Take a look at this:

"The Chinese Teapot and Batis" by Jenny Matthews
You might not notice the little fish in this beautiful painting at first glance, but it's worth the effort for an extra treat!  This Balinese Earring Fish (I hadn't heard of it either) is so elegant and graceful.

And this:

"Toy Shark" by Henry Kondracki
OK, so strictly speaking this is not a 'common' fish, but something really gets me about this painting - a mix of museum piece and a special love of the subject.  Please feel free to pop in and learn more...

And leaving you with this.....

"Toy Giraffe" by Henry Kondracki
So this is DEFINITELY not a fish, but I couldn't resist showing him on the blog.  It's not every day you see such an enchanting and lovingly observed painting of a toy giraffe......

All these paintings are currently in the gallery as part of our Christmas Exhibition.

Next up, a spot of bird watching..... 

Saturday, 11 December 2010


Hello everyone

I just wanted to steer your attentions to some really cracking paintings in the Christmas Exhibition....


"Sasaki Kojiro IV" and "Sasaki Kojiro II" by Mark Nicholas Edwards.

I might have previously mentioned that I am lucky enough to own one of Mark's beautiful paintings and I adore it.  Maybe one day I will show you the Auldjo/Union collection.

So these paintings are entitled after one of the greatest swordsmen of Japan. Mark drew an interesting comparison between the skill of a swordsman and that of the artist brush. So, Sasaki may have been the expert of the infamous and brutal "Swallow Cut" but, in my humble opinion, Mark is the expert in wielding the brush with painstaking precision. When you come in for a look you will be able to see the minute detail in these works....they are only 26 x 26 cm!

This is lovely artist Mark Nicholas Edward doing a spot of "Tommy lovin".
A HUGE thanks to Mark for braving the sub-zero temperatures, trekking over town, largely by foot and full of cold to get his paintings here!

Mark also points out that these little fish, swimming away contentedly, will never be great warriors....just eternally peaceful. As with so many artists he has such a beautiful brain and I'm lucky to have him as a friend.

Coming up next......more fishy business!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Labour of Love

Hello everyone

Sore hands from moulding the wire bodies, six months of solid knitting, countless balls of wool later, and 'The Hunt' was born.

'The Hunt' by Hannah Haworth.
I kid you not, the amount of painstaking work that has gone into this installation is mind-boggling. Hannah even made the sledge herself from found green oak. A true labour of love. It reminds me of a really gorgeous Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, 'The Wild Swans'. Read it here if you're not familiar with it:
I'm not sure if you can tell from the images (look at Hannah's page on the website), that this is a large scale work.
However, its not just that it's visually impressive and satisfying to look at. The concept behind the work is equally beautiful and thought provoking; based on an old Inuit Folktale. All this from such a young artist (Hannah's only 21). I think Hannah's work is very special indeed and I intend to enjoy the precious time I will have with 'The Hunt'.

If you are passing you simply must come in to see and learn more about 'The Hunt''s not something you will see everyday! Then, once you've recovered from the excitement you will get an eyeful of some particularly fine paintings.

 Not sure it gets much better!