Thursday, 31 January 2013

Perfect Little Packages of Joy

Hello everyone,

With just a week to go until our first exhibition of 2013, 'It's the Little Things', comes to a close, I thought it would be a good idea to have a closer look at some of the cracking little paintings hanging in the gallery at the moment.

We should start with this:

'Gone Potty', acrylic on card, by James Newton Adams.
Whenever we are lucky enough to have new work from Skye-based artist James Newton Adams in the gallery, it always creates a stir.  His ability to mix naive charm with a slight sense of melancholy in his work life seems to strike a chord with all who view it.  He is a chronicler of the world around him, exploring the land and seascapes of Scotland as well as the people, animals and objects that inhabit them, often highlighting tensions in their relationships with each other and with the landscape itself.  It is always a pleasure to have his playful, charming scenes of everyday life in the gallery.

And how about this?

'Highland Hiker', oil on canvas, by Henry Kondracki.
Edinburgh institution, Henry Kondracki, is famous for his stunning, and often quirky, views of Scotland.  He is perhaps best known for his larger scale work, yet this little gem is tiny - just 14x14cm and is absolutely exquisite in every detail.  I often feel that it takes a great painter to create something so perfect on such a small scale, and Henry Kondracki has proved it yet again.

As has artist Olivia Irvine with this:

'Woods', oil and egg tempera on canvas, by Olivia Irvine.
We've been  exhibiting work by Olivia Irvine since we opened, back in 2009, and she never fails to get me going with her beautiful, atmospheric work.  This beauty is just 14x10cm in size, and is all the more special for that.  Olivia takes her subject matter from her house and garden, family holidays and themes of childhood and play and recently she has been inspired by swimming pools in Iceland, campsites in the French Pyrenees and rose gardens in Madrid. Often her works explore a combination of natural and man-made elements, and they all have a rather 'other-wordly' atmosphere to them - less to do with observed reality and more to do with the creation of a world of fascination and engagement.  This stunning painting is no exception.

I have given you just a flavour of the special small paintings on show at Union Gallery at the moment, and there are many more.  if you haven't managed to come in yet, I really recommend that you do - it is a really wonderful exhibition.

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