Friday, 30 October 2009

Trick or Treat....and sweet dreams

Well with it being Halloween readers I wanted to bring to your attention this thought provoking work of Art....

Get ready....

Here it is.....

"Night Walk with Toby" by Derek McGuire.

Derek's paintings are all unique and a lot of thought goes into them. Much of his work is profoundly autobiographical. His paintings involve a lot of layering-much like the thought process that goes into them. This special painting was inspired by Derek's daughter Jessie. Derek's mother is quite nervous about her dog Toby being around Jessie and on one occassion shouted at Toby. Jessie picked up on the sense of urgency of the moment and later that night had a dream about it. This is Derek McGuire's interpretation of what that dream may have been like for 3 year old Jessie. A little insight into the imagination of a child where fear and terror exists. It may sound spooky however, the painting has an engaging dream like quality to it. With the layering process involved, this is a classic example of a beautiful painting that deserves to be viewed up close and personal. For that reason "Night Walk with Toby" is hanging in the gallery window at present....for all to see over Halloween. I must say it looks stunning in the evening with the lights on it. Pure poetry!

Lets also take a look at this mysterious and exquisite graphite drawing by Christine Clark.

I like "Warm Viened Roots" a lot. A really fab, delicate drawing. I don't think you see enough examples of good draftmanship in galleries. I remember the words of my dear father ringing in my ears..."you will never do a good painting without a good drawing". He was a scary teacher!
On a lighter note. I spotted this on the railings of Broughton Street.

Love it. Kind of looks like me on a Monday....

And this little guy was posted into us by superb landscape painter Hazel Cashmore.
It cracked a smile on the scowl...thanks Hazel.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Live From Broughton Street!

Well readers as I was stood up today.....yes I know....can you believe it!!
So thought I would use the time I had carefully put aside to once again treat you to some more delights form Broughton Street...........

Even the dogs round here know it's the coolest place to be!

I am very fond of my friendly dinner lady. I do love her frock.

Whereas the outfit in this window has a little less....detail.
During the evening Broughton Street gets really lively and the excellent bars and restaurants fill up. However, this evening we were hit with a torrential down pour so people were moving pretty sharpish. The next pic (another poor one..... I'm not great with a camera) is Broughton Street Lane, just a few doors up from the gallery.

Not sure if you can make out the figures in the background? There's a couple huddled under an umbrella and obviously in a hurry to get home.

Lovingly observed by amazing artist Henry Kondracki.
The figure on the other side of the road is just dying to get home. Henry's painting is better than my photograph!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Little Treasures

I recently took delivery of some new work from the charming artist Mark Nicholas Edwards. He is another talent whose work I have enjoyed for a few years now and I am lucky enough to own one of his "treasures". I also love Koi Carp and sometimes visit the Botanic Gardens to see the Carp in the ponds. I find it very theraputic to watch them clamly bobbing about, not a care in the world. Mark's work has been a big hit at the gallery and he has quite a following already. These new pieces are scoring high on the gorgeous radar! His choice of title's for them are spot on too. I was also really keen to see them on a black back ground as I know a couple who bought a large piece that was to be hung on a black wall. Very stylish I thought.

(Also hoping Santa might be reading this)

"Little Treasures I" by Mark Nicholas Edward.

"Little Treasures II" by Mark Nicholas Edward.

I should point out that these beautiful little pieces are only 13x13cm yet the work in them is quite astonishing. The above piece being a good example. The shading on the right hand side and the work on the scales and fins looks painstaking. A labour of love.

"Little Treasures III" by Mark Nicholas Edward.
Last little treasure.....

"Little Treasures IV" by Mark Nicholas Edwards.

Again this treasure got a gasp. The Koi in this piece are a mere 3cms yet the attention to detail is incredible. Also for such a little painting I think the composition is perfect. I also know that to achieve that slick, glossy, black back ground is a difficult process for Mark. I should image even more so on such a tight scale.

Real little "gems"..... brilliant work.

In the studio space next to Mark works another artist whose work we show.

Imogen Alabaster's work has proved so irresistible that we have none left! However we will be lucky enough to be given another 4 pieces for our Christmas Exhibition. Looking forward to seeing them.

"Affection is what I need" by Imogen Alabaster.

Another cracking title by another clever artist.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Something for The Weekend I. (Just for fun.)

Ok so you can probably guess that we are quite serious about our Art round these parts. I have even been know to spin round with excitement whilst talking about certain artists.....(yes I am sure you do remember that!). Should you be lucky enough to stumble past the gallery windows you may even catch a glimpse of my screwed up wee face scowling at the computer screen. Deep in concentration. However, even I can allow the odd spot of humour to creep into the gallery.

So would like to share a few oddities with you:

Introducing the gallery hounds....

This cheery little face belongs to Tommy our adorable pooch form Boxer Welfare.

This is Harry introducing himself to Barbara Franc's "Palmer". Harry is also a rescue pooch and is proving to have a bit of a "nose" for art. As you will see from the next couple of pics.........

Harry was most taken by "David Hosie's "Man Observing Horizon". And was thrilled when he sniffed out the deadly talented Dylan Lisle's "Object of Desire".

We have probably mentioned our great fondness for Broughton Street. There is such a cool vibe round here and never a dull moment. Just the other day I managed to capture (badly...did I mention I am cack with a camera?) These curiosities.....

I have no idea what the over-sized monkey's head was all about. One can only assume (hope) that it was part of a float. There are a couple of other weird things in front of monkey. The next pic put a wee grin on the scowly face.

The next 2 images never fail to crack a smile. Just a few doors up from the gallery is the delectable Pizza Piccante. Suppliers of the famous Deep Fried Mars Bar. Just the ticket for sorting out the ARTeries! I know... awful.

Rob has just informed me that my lilly feet are not unlike hooves in this picture! Charming.....bring on the onslaught of insulting comments.
Just minutes walk from the gallery is the Edinburgh institution that is Dofos petshop. That wonderful frontage is unmistakable and hasn't changed for decades.

Now immortalised by award winning artist Henry Kondracki.

Once again the proud owners of this little masterpiece are overjoyed with their latest acquisition. Nice.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Time to Introduce Myself

So far, the work in getting this blog up to date has all been the work of Alison, so I feel it is time to introduce myself.  I am Rob, the other half of the Union Gallery team, and you will see me here quite a bit in the future. 

Union Gallery was created because we both believe we have something a bit different to offer the art loving community in Edinburgh.  We have a genuine admiration for the art we exhibit, and we believe that both artists and collectors alike should be treated with respect and fairness.  We love to show work that is not commonly seen in Edinburgh, and we believe that it is right that a gallery should, occasionally, take the odd risk with its exhibitions.  So far, we have found that people do seem to "get it", and that is why we seem to be getting some really fantastic support from so many areas.

Alison has shown some fantastic art here already, so I felt I should get in on the action and show you some work that I really love that is here at the moment.

Barbara Franc is a London based sculptor who does simply amazing things with wire and recyled materials.  She creates beautiful sculptures that astound everyone who sees them.  Interestingly and perhaps unusually, Barbara works on the form first, without any rigid support, so she can manipulate and change the form as required.  Once she is happy with how it looks, she will insert stiffer wire to create the solidity of the structure.  The result of this painstaking process is a sculpture that works on a number of different levels: yes they look great, but they can also offer animation, vunerability, fun and irony.  See for yourself......

The Lounging Lurcher has had the dog loving fraternity in a right does she get a sculpture to look like it really is rolling around?  Apparently this is based on her own pooch.

And doesn't Little Donkey have a real, 'just born' vunerability?  My personal favourite of the collection.

And how about these two chaps?  Palmer, the Zebra, has a twin called Huntley, explaining the use of recycled biscuit tins as his coat.  And Splendid Stag is just that.....a fantastic and stately figure indeed.

You should come in and have a look.....they really are fabulous.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Landmarks: Mixed exhibition of Contemporary Scottish Landscapes

Again, we are still trying to fill you in with what's all been going on at Union Gallery...nearly there!  So time now to let you see a few gems from our current exhibition "Landmarks".

"Autumn Field" by Georgie Young.

I have admired Georgie's exceptional landscapes for many years. Indeed her work has on occassions been know to upset me. As a landscape painter, her style is very much how I would like to paint and it's only been a few years since I have accepted that I simply can't paint like her! The above painting demonstrates why I am such an admirer of her work. This piece "sings". To me everything is spot on: colours and pallette, composition, texture and brush work. No doubt Georgie worked very hard on this piece and the result (in my opinion) is flawless.

It has an obvious "autumnal" theme and I am sure I will not be the only landscape painter who finds this the most inspiring time of the year. Here in Edinburgh, we recently experienced the most beautiful of autumn days. So perfect it was that I decided to get out the camera (I am dreadfull with a camera) and "treat" you readers further afield to some lovely images of Edinburgh in autumn.

"The Bush". I have taken a photo of this shrub every Autumn for the last 3 years. Like the foliage I referred to earlier in Derek McGuire's painting, I haven't got round to finding out what it is called! I just know in the summer (I take a photo then too) that it's covered in beautiful blueish flowers and in autumn the leaves turn a georgeous gold-red colour. Any suggestions?

Visited Inverleith Park and took a couple more poor snaps....

Anyway the sun had brought out lots of people for walks
and there was a really happy atmosphere. The next 2 pics
put me in mind of...........

Henry Kondracki's little gem "Girl with Swan". I love
how he has this gift of capturing really special moments.
I think it's comforting to know we have artists that can
capture moments like these on canvas.

Back to the exhibition:

"Outer Margins" by Dorothy Bruce.

Dorothy was born in Minneapolis. She travelled and painted extensively in the States and Australia before making Scotland her home. The changing light and scenery of the Northern Highlands are a constant source of inspiration to her.  I like this painting a lot and I am lucky enough to get to look at it everyday in the gallery. I like it because even with such strong colours, the piece has a really calm feel to it. It makes me think of a late evening in the height of summer and perhaps the only noises around would be birds or crickets. Nice painting.

Next up:

"The Trek" by Drummond Mayo.

I was lucky enough to grow up with an original Drummond Mayo painting on our walls.  Much like Georgie Young, he has been quite an influenece in my work. Another "wish I could paint like that" artist. Drummond has been painting all his adult life and is another artist that's not afraid to meet head on the medium he works with. This special painting showing a solitary figure embarking on a very long journey received massive attention. It didn't take long for a very thoughtful lady to purchase it for her husband who enjoys a spot of hill walking. Lucky man and nice present!


"Shadowed Sea" by Martyn McKenzie.

I was a tad reluctant when 2nd year student at Edinburgh College of Art Martyn approached the gallery. I felt his efforts should be focused on concentrating on his degree in Drawing & Painting &'s hard work! However he came back a second time and I admired him for this. The work already existed and he explained the work was quite special to him and that he wanted people to see it.We agreed that it should be seen and that it would do no harm for Martyn to experience showing in a gallery. He is also a very fine chap and from what we have seen of his work, a potential name to look out for.  We will be ceratinly be at his Degree Show! Again it didn't take long for someone else to spot this new talent. The lady who bought "Shadowed Sea" is looking forward to taking it home at the end of the exhibition.

Ending on another "gem".

"Yellow Tree III" by John Carberry.

It's generally agreed that nothing beats seeing "the real thing", however this little beauty can hold it's own as a jpeg. It's not a huge painting but it's got loads going for it. You can see from this image the wonderful mark making and texture. I personally enjoy a painting where you can see the brush strokes, it enhances the life in it. I also like the clever composition. A less is more number...... you are invited to walk into this piece and duck in and out of the trees. A nice little painting.

New Arrival.....

What's in the box?

I have been looking forward to this.......

Pleased to meet you!

Introducing a new arrival...."Who's There", a beautiful bronze sculpture by Carl Newman.  Carl has been a professional sculptor for 15 years now and his work is proving very popular in the gallery. He has been extremely organised at providing us with his work and informing us of new pieces.

I even liked the box he arrived in...... like a real little animal's nest. Very cosy!

And this is Carl Newman. A little insight to a fine sculptor at work.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

The Fragility of Optimism: David Hosie Solo Exhibition 2009

"We are confronted with destruction, guilt, conscience and perhaps a frail optimism"
David Hosie September 2009.
I would not like to presume that everyone is familiar with acclaimed figurative painter David Hosie. Although he is based in Edinburgh and has been painting for nearly 30 years, his work is not something you see everyday and his solo exhibition was a real treat. His work is mainly shown in London and further afield. I felt strongly about this, believing that people here should be seeing it. From the amazing comments left in his visitors book, it would appear that many, many agreed that his work has a universal appeal and a narrative to it that we can all relate to. I don't want to "generalise" his work, but to me it's all about human beings and how we react, cope.....or life, and the challenges and strains it can place on us. This may sound a little "heavy" or hard work, yet at the same time David offers symbols of hope and regeneration. We were proud to have been lucky enough to show this amazing exhibition and it was fascinating for me to observe everyone's reaction to the work. Anyone who has an interest in David's work, achievements and contribution to Scottish Painting should contact the gallery.

"Bather, Quiet Night of Quiet Stars".

I have had the hard task of picking out a few key pieces from the exhibition and these two beauties stick out (for obvious reasons) but also because they were the last two to make it. I was lucky enough to see this piece as a work in progress and could see that it was a very special painting in the making and, if time permitted, she should be finished. Sure enough the proud owners of this beautiful painting are thrilled to have her calming influence in their home.

"Falling Man".
I was lucky enough to see this iconic image as a work in progress also. On entering David's studio, "Falling Man" stopped me in my tracks! I struggle to explain the "wow" factor but I do remember the hair on the back of my neck standing on edge. During this exhibition, I (who could resist) made a point of scrutinising the brush work and technique involved in the paintings and on studying "Falling Man's" face noticed the powerful smell of oil paint...still drying. That was a really exciting moment for me!

David Hosie was my tutor at Edinburgh College of Art and I have always considered him a very thoughtful, forward thinking and deep individual. He has been a key figure in the opening of Union Gallery and his support, input and advice has been invaluable.

Gallery Friend and Supporter:

The upstanding Mr McKenna observing David's "Girl with Toy Glider, Study". He has a mean eye for talent.

Another gallery visitor is captivated by "Falling Man".