Thursday, December 21, 2006

New focus

Well I am now officially working towards another small solo show in the Queens Gallery in Dundee, the only problem for me is that its very soon!!!

Soon, as in, I still have to do the work and the opening is March 31st 2007.

I know that seems quite far away but believe me its not. There are also other shows, in other Galleries, looking for new work during that time, so, suffice to say, I am now back on the merry go round that is painting for exhibitions (not that I got off, just slowed it down a little).

I may be able to cheat a little and add a couple of pieces from the 'Furthest West' show, but, the majority will be new work and the theme will be more open and not quite so restrictive.

I shall keep you abreast of the new work as it develops, posting a few teasers as I do them. Maybe even a few works in progress!!

Here's one to get started with;

'Urban Palm tree', watercolour on paper

This is an image of a ripped poster in Sienna, Italy, (which has not been doctored by me in any way to make it look more like a palm tree). I just loved the fact that it reminded me of a palm tree and that it is purely down to luck and of course my observational skills to notice it in the first place.

I happened to be with another artist who looked down the street at the precise moment I first observed this and he announced 'now that's what I like to paint' and I looked at the wall and thought 'no, that's much more interesting to me'.

'Be true to yourself'

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Queens Gallery christmas show

'Protective', 6"x8", watercolour on paper

I have some work on display in the Queens Gallery Christmas show (Dundee), of which two are wee postcard sized works. The postcard sized format is proving very popular for Christmas or charity shows. It makes it affordable to purchase 'named artists' for a fraction of their 'normal' value, plus there is never the issue of not having enough space to hang the little gem. Both sold at the opening.

'Contemplation', 6"x8", watercolour on paper

Saturday, November 18, 2006


'Chameleon door 2', watercolour on card

As part of the Christmas exhibition at the Open Eye, there is a separate room filled with postcard sized paintings (approx 6" x 8") from all their Gallery artists. I have decided to show mine here in advance (sneak preview).

'Forgotten Treasure', watercolour on card

Most of the images are still based around the Moroccan theme, but 'View from San Marco, Florence' is a piece I have been wanting to do for some time. I went to Florence with the students in May of this year (2006) and had the odd opportunity to do a few scribbles.
'View from San Marco, Florence', watercolour on card
This is an idea which I carried around in my head for some time and it is really the first chance to produce something from the trip. I will be trying a larger variation of this theme very soon, to be earmarked for the Queens Gallery show April 2007.

'Grand Entrance', watercolour on card

Thursday, November 16, 2006


calm Reflection' , Acrylic on Canvas

Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh

I am exhibiting 4 new paintings in the 'Objects of Desire' exhibition along with John Bellany, George Donald, Henry Fraser, Roberto Gonzalez Fernandez, Benjamin Jones, Jack Knox, Barry McGlashan, Geoffrey Roper, Ann Ross and Margaret Smyth. The invited artists have been asked to produce 4 works on any theme or size, but, all 4 pieces have to be the same size. I have plumped for 4 wee canvasses, which will be around 38cm square once framed.

'Fish Box', Acrylic on Canvas

what's nice about this exhibition for me is the fact that I can now broaden my subject matter to include other things again. There is a slight feeling of being hemmed in when you limit yourself, as I did, for my Morocco show. Not that I didn't enjoy working on the exhibition, only its nice to be able to hop from one idea to another without worrying if the end result fits in.

'Arabian nights', Acrylic on Canvas

'Missing Pieces', Acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The dust has settled

The dust settles!

Hi, sorry for the hiatus but I have been incredibly busy over the past few weeks. Unfortunately not always art related, but, always time consuming.

"This is the hurry up and take the photo pose"

Just to round off the Moroccan show in the Open Eye Gallery, I decided to post a few images of my paintings in situ. Especially for those unable to visit Edinburgh while it was on.

"Inside the main room"

The sales were pretty good without being spectacular, with half the show selling and the Gallery hanging on to 6 more for future exhibitions. Nine made the long track back with me the store room. Most of the small to medium sized pieces sold, perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from this experience.

The photographs give you an idea of the scale of some of the paintings, the catalogue, although very nice, never really conveys how large or small some of these pieces are.

"Towards the other window"

As always there are some paintings which don't sell and I cant quite figure out why, maybe its size or the price, the subject matter or perhaps the right person hasn't seen it yet. Whatever the reason it only confirms to me that I cant predict with any degree of certainty what will be a hit and what wont. All I can continue to do is to make paintings to the best of my ability and remain true to myself regardless of trends. I am open to constructive crticism but I never take it with blind faith, I always question it!

Now is the time to analyze the successes and the failures of the show.

"In the Entrance hall"

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"Entrance to the Souks", Watercolour on paper

I just wanted to let you know that there is a small review of my show "Farthest West", Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh, in Today's (3rd October 2006) Scotsman.

The Review is written by Duncan Macmillan and I am very pleased with his overall summation of the work and the show. As a gallery owner said to me recently, any review of visual arts today has to be welcomed and I am extremely gratified that he enjoyed the work on display. Here is the extract if you cant get a copy (which also includes an image from my show, as seen above);

'At the Open Eye, Angus McEwan celebrates the power of paint to describe. He uses watercolour with exquisite delicacy to create an almost hallucinatory sense of reality of an object or scene. These are all pictures of Morocco and he revels in the exotic light and colour of the place, but is best on a small scale where there are no obvious pointers to the associations of his subject matter.

He paints a window opening into a dark space that could be anywhere, or the detail of a battered door with peeling paint. There is delight to be found in this kind of observation, poetry too, and not just admiration for his skill.'

The show was given 4/5 star rating.

I hope if you haven't already visited the show that you can make it through to Edinburgh at some point and I would welcome your thoughts on the work.

Monday, October 02, 2006

"Saturation Point", Watercolour on Paper

Well, the post "Opening" Blues have set in.

I think mainly because the "opening" is such a high point, which the previous 6 months have been building up to, that, there can only be one direction after that. Luckily, I still have lots of work sitting around waiting to be completed. The last thing I need right now is contemplation, that will come in the next few weeks, once I've reviewed the relative successes and failures of the show. Onwards and upwards.

The "Opening" was fairly successful with just over a third sold within the first 3 hours. Mainly the medium to small works with a couple of larger pieces, being the main targets. I had good feedback from everyone I spoke to, and it helped confirm to me that the newer works were accepted and are worth while pursuing. Something I am keen to do.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Last Offering

"Dusk at Place Jemma el-Fna", Acrylic/collage/mixed media on canvas

Here is the final offering for my show in the Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh. I just finished it on Wednesday after virtually obliterating it on Sunday, when it wasn't working the way I wanted it to. I took a thick wash of brown acrylic paint and completely covered the canvas. Frantically working away to recover the image I retrieved enough to work with. I can now "destroy" work with the confidence that I can get it back, and it will be twice as good as before the sabotage. It finally proved to be the case with this piece. What worried me though was my timing. I didn't have long to pull this one out of the bag, miraculously (and I use this loosely) I managed to do it with time enough to spare to wrap all my other pieces.

So now I wait nervously for the opening on Saturday. Keeping the fingers crossed. See you on the other side!

Friday, September 22, 2006

"Dawn breaks in the Marjorelle gardens", Acrylic/Collage on Canvas

Well one week to go until the opening. Most people who have seen the catalogue have liked what they have seen. My only hope is that when they see the originals they live up to expectation. I have to say when I picked up a few pieces from the framers I was pleasantly surprised and felt a little more confident about a positive response. When you work alone without any input, positive or negative, you can easily go off the rails without realizing it, so an opening takes on a more significant dent to the ego if the response isn't mildly positive. All very stressful. All I can say is be gentle please!!!

The painting above is a larger work on canvas which employs the collage/Acrylic technique. I have also plumped for a fairly simple image. One which should help square a few circles. It connects the dakak/Watercolour piece with the newer Acrylic works.

Only one piece left to finish. Off I pop!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


"Fisherman's Sanctuary", Watercolour
This is the front cover of my Catalogue for the Open eye show (above).
I feel the pressure building as I frantically try to finish and start some new work (I must be mad). I am picking up the catalogue tomorrow, so heres hoping its as half as good as it is in my head (impossible I know). If anyone would like a copy give me a bell and I shall see what I can do. I will be sending out a few to regular buyers.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Farthest West - al-Maghreb al-Aqsa

"Farthest West", Acrylic, collage on canvas, 2006

Firstly an apology for the lack of activity on here but between my accounts, starting lecturing again and my show I have barely had enough time to sleep.

My show which will open in 3 weeks time in Edinburgh at the Open eye Gallery has now had the title confirmed as "Farthest West -al-Maghreb al-Aqsa". This is what morocco is more commonly known as in the Islamic world, since it is the farthest West from Mecca (the centre of Islam?). I liked the fact that we would regard Morocco as the near East, but not to the rest of Islam. I guess its all relative.

The show is slowly taking shape and I am desperately trying to finish two largish paintings which should hopefully tie up one or two loose ends. The painting above is a combination of collage worked on top with acrylic and employs a depth change from the left to the right. The 3 keys are part of my collection and have cropped up in a few pieces recently. I am fairly happy with this one, so here's hoping the public like it.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Little Icon, Acrylic on paper and board,65 x 52cm

"Little Icon" is another piece in the acrylic series. Lots of texture with a painting of a "perfume" bottle painted in a realistic manner. I have really enjoyed these paintings, mainly because I am not sure of the outcome or the reaction (worry, worry!). I am in the middle of putting together the catalogue for my show in the Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh and the new pieces will be represented by the "Key to Africa". Here is a detail of the "Little Icon".

"Little Icon " Detail

Friday, August 11, 2006

New painting!

Key to Africa, Acrylic on paper and board, 2006

I have been working extensively with watercolour for about five years now. Fairly recently I was asked to produce some pieces for my show in the Open Eye Gallery which could go in their windows. Not wanting to put watercolours under strong light I decided to do a few acrylic. This prompted me to think again about process and subject matter and how I could utilize the benefits afforded to me through using this durable medium.

The results have so far been pretty interesting, although how they will sit with the rest of my show I am not sure. How the Gallery and buyers view these pieces will also be very interesting.

Here is the first piece now completed. The key in the centre is an item bartered for in the souks of Marrakech. If you like let me know what you think.

Friday, August 04, 2006

" The Dakak - the one who knocks", Watercolour on paper

I collect and purchase as many objects as I can when I am on my travels. These are then worked into still life's and can add a touch of authenticity and inspiration when developing my ideas.

I was in Morocco during Ramadan and having never observed this before, read a little about it.

I came across the book 'Behind Moroccan Walls' by Henrietta Celarie (first published 1931), and came across this description.

"At Fez the believer charged with waking the woman is called the Dakak". "one who Knocks". "The position of Dakak is hereditary", "He receives a small sum as remuneration from the Habous and each inhabitant contributes toward paying the dakak of his quarter by handing over fifty centimes with seventeen measures of wheat"

Friday, July 28, 2006

Just finished

"The Taleb's jinn", Watercolour on paper

This painting was completed yesterday and represents a wee bit of a struggle, but I think it was ultimately worth it.
A Taleb is a student of the magic arts. "Moroccans seem very suggestible to occult practices, genies and the like." 'The plurals "jinn"'. They're taken seriously:even intellectuals look over their shoulders in case a genie is following.
(taken from- "The city in the 1960s" by Anthony Gladstone-Thompson)
The lamp is a contemporary creation, but I like the juxtaposition of the modern object with ancient symbolism.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Blast from the Past

"All things are numbers", watercolour on paper

I decided that I will occassionally show you some of my past work. Sometimes my painting has sold before anyone has had a chance to see it. Although the primary aim is to sell, it is always nice to be able to share your vision and hard work with others.The photograph below (sorry about the apendage(me) next to it, but it gives you a nice sense of scale) was the last time the painting was viewed in public.

RSA, Edinburgh -"If I could go anywhere", 15 years of the Alastair Salvesen award


"Synthesis", original -watercolour on paper

I have just received a copy of a couple of Giclee prints in the post today which can be purchased directly through the printers at

The image quality is excellent and I thoroughly recommend them if you collect Giclees. Originals are obviously infinitely more desirable but if the painting has already been sold, then this is an excellent way to still have the image at an affordable price.

"Industrial Growth", original - Watercolour on paper

Monday, July 17, 2006

Morocco: windows

"3 cobalt windows", Marakech, watercolour on Paper

I am having an exhibition of work in the Open eye Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland in September 2007.

The theme of the show is Morocco and I have tentatively called the exhibition Morocco: Windows, carpets and Orange boxes. I shall, over the course of the next few months, post a few teasers of pieces which will be considered for the exhibition.

I am to have a catalogue produced and therefore will have to create a lot of my work a good couple of months in advance of the exhibition. Nothing like a bit of pressure to focus the mind.

The "3 cobalt Windows" is an amalgamation of 2 viewpoints. One contains the window and another is a view from the El Badi palace ruins. Its really a painting of an imagined situation in Marakech. Something that I do all too frequently. The trick is to make it look convincing.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

How did you paint that?

Lily Shadows, watercolour on paper

“Lily Shadows”

The still life was lit by one of a series of small spot lights I have wired to the roof of the studio- by playing around with the spots left and right I was able to come up with an interesting composition where objects dissolve and emerge from the shadows.
Shadows and lighting are extremely important to me and I spent a great deal of time with the lighting getting exactly the right sort of conditions to produce an interesting picture.

The colour philosophy for this picture was to create a particular orange/green balance around the painting with the blacks (produced by mixing Prussian blue and sepia) acting as anchors, punctuation and full stops. The light flickers through the leaves with a gentle warm glow.

I begin each picture with a clear idea about composition and then set about creating a fairly precise pencil drawing using a 2B-4B, being careful not to press too heavily on to the paper. Once I have the drawing done (sometimes that can take a couple of days in itself), I begin with the palest washes, often limiting the colour to a very small range and working with pure colour (unmixed).The only colour I mix constantly would be my black (blue & brown).
I proceed to build the picture through layers of pure colour anticipating results (laying blue over yellow –green), effectively mixing on to the paper with a series of glazed layers.

I work with the colours watered down to begin with and proceed to thicken the mix as the painting progresses. I make sure once a layer goes down, never to go over it again until its dry (even if I make a mistake) as this will result in a bare patch forming (the more you agitate the surface the more you lift out not put on)
I am constantly assessing what the picture needs and I never get into being too specific too quickly. Let all areas progress at the same time (I change this axiom when I am doing a complex painting involving different techniques in different areas, -i.e., texture in one part, smooth wash in another). I may introduce colour pencil at some stage if I feel it is needed and not every picture needs it. In this instance it helped with adding slight orange to shadows and producing smooth transitions from one part of the wall (top) to another. It is sometimes useful if you have overstepped the tone of a particular part to work back over with a slightly paler pencil. I then proceed to eventually work into areas with detail, tidying up edges, picking out highlights with Chinese white (not a purist I’m afraid) and viewing the picture from a distance to see if it is reading as a whole and not as a jumble of parts with equal focal points jousting for attention.

The picture has a lot of different techniques working together as a unit – I don’t like it to be very obvious how each part was created. If I become too aware of a particular technique then it has been “over cooked”. There are a lot of flat washes and a number of wet on wet areas – particularly at the start. Once I have achieved what I need from the wet on wet (the back wall was originally created this way) I then prefer to work wet on dry. I always try to reserve my whites by using masking fluid and the ball and certain parts of the flowers were kept this way. I will use Chinese white if I need to but find that it can be quite cold compared to the white of the paper. There is a little bit of spraying with an airbrush to soften the shadows- again I use this tool in certain circumstances and not in every picture.
My motto is use whatever works as long as it is conservation friendly, i.e. I don’t want bits falling off the picture next week!

The main challenge with this picture was to get the punchy quality produced from the shadows without the shadows becoming an overwhelming part of the picture – I needed them (shadows) to sit quietly in the background, not competing with the main object of focus (flowers).

How did you paint that? 100 ways to paint still life and florals.
ISBN 1-929834-39-X
Published by International artist

Friday, July 07, 2006


Angus McEwan RSW
“Art and Artifice”

Watercolour, acrylic and watercolour pencil
on Fabriano not 300gsm watercolour paper

This painting can be loosely described as having connections to the form of painting called “Trompe l’oeil”, which is French for deceiving the eye.

The painting is part of a door taken from the fish market in Venice, Italy. The door has a window which has rusted iron slats across it. The door is rather roughly put together and has been painted green at one stage, but is now looking worse for wear with the passage of time.

Below the window is a note attached to the door. On the note is a drawing of a flower and although monochromatic has fooled a bee into taking a closer look.

This directly relates to a story told by “Pliny the Elder in the ‘History of Nature’, where the ancient painter Zeuxis is praised for painting such realistic grapes that birds would come along and pick at them, mistaking them for the genuine fruit.”

Woven subtly in amongst the piece of white paper is a hint of a map of Venice, thus placing the door geographically.

Illusionism and deception is what this painting is about, thus the title, “Art & Artifice”.

Angus McEwan RSW

Monday, July 03, 2006

More Publications

"Eye of Flora", Watercolour on paper

How did you paint that? 100 ways to paint flowers and gardens.

The reason for painting any picture can be rather difficult to explain, the best solution I have found is to allow my gut feelings to take a part in the decision making process. Most often than nought it has more to do with how something looks, rather than the subject matter itself. In this instance I enjoyed the play of light falling across the dried and fragile flowers. The depth of tone and colour drew me to the subject, the chiaroscuro, intrigued me and the challenge held me there. I rather enjoyed the way the darkness dissolved some of the objects, and I often look for this aspect when choosing a subject to paint.

I quite like the idea of a window, within a window, within a window (the painting of course in the traditional sense could be seen as a window into another world). If the eye is known to be the “Window of the Soul”, the window is thus known as the “Eye of the Soul”, symbolic of consciousness and of the individual’s perception of the world. Flora was the goddess of spring, the vine, fruit, flowers and grain, symbolizing fertility. Thus the title, the “Eye of Flora”.


We are looking at a vase of flowers sitting on a window (almost in the centre of the painting); on the left hand side there is another window which is flooded with light. Between the two windows, there is a corridor.

There are a few objects sitting on the window sill which, I decided, would become simplified shapes hidden in amongst the shadows – suggestions are so much more powerful than statements.

The focal point is obviously in the centre of the picture and is of course the busiest in terms of detail, tonal contrast and colour range.

"How did you paint that?" 100 ways to paint Flowers and Gardens

ISBN (1-929834-44-6)

Friday, June 30, 2006

How did you Paint that?

Under the Boardwalk -Santa Monica, CA, watercolour on paper, 84 x 66cm

"100 ways to paint;
Seascapes, Rivers & lakes".
This publication was produced by International artist and it presents 100 different artist's work and the method s they used to create their masterpieces. My painting "Under the Boardwalk" was reproduced as Artist 51(not unlike area 51 - a complete mystery). Here is a small note on the inspiration behind this piece.
Main Challenge – Light
The quality of light I enjoy in Scotland tends to be of a particular steely blue character and when I go abroad the sunlight has a stronger warmer, yellow quality that really intrigues me. Of course it’s not only the sunlight that interests me; it’s the quality of deep intense blue shadows that usually catches my eye.

My parents live in Los Angeles and I visit on a yearly basis, occasionally doing a little painting, but most often than not observing. I take pleasure in the quality of light, the Spanish style architecture and the over all Mediterranean feel to this area.

When I visited Santa Monica Pier last April, it was fairly windy but the sun was shinning and it really made the sea sparkle and I spent quite a while watching the waves crashing against the legs of the Pier. It was the colour; the light; the shadows and the immense power of the sea that attracted me to paint this subject.

I often travel abroad with students and have visited in recent years Venice (Italy), Barcelona and Madrid, and it is always the light that captivates me. Any subject matter, no matter what that might be always seems to come alive when the sun hits it. I envy those who enjoy more than their fair share of strong sunlight, it is possibly because I don’t see very much of it that makes me notice it and appreciate it all the more. The shapes of the shadows and strong tonal contrast are my subject matter.
I painted on Fabriano Artistico 300g/m2, cold pressed, fine grained, white watercolour paper.
In this painting I used a Squirrel mop brushes for painting the water and watercolour sable “round”, size 10 to 000, and square headed one stroke synthetic brushes 1” to ¼”. I also used a “plant” spray gun for applying a bit of splattering in the water area.
I used a particularly large amount of different greens in this painting.

The following Watercolours were used in conjunction with a wide range of watercolour pencils;

Chinese Orange; Olive Green; Phthalo Green light; Cobalt Turquoise Light; Indian Yellow; Cinnabar GP Light Extra; Violet Grey; Burnt Umber; Prussian Blue; Cinereous Blue; Mars Yellow.

I do use Professional quality watercolours going for colours that are high in saturation, pigment and are proven to be light fast.
"How did you paint that?
100 ways to paint Seascapes, Rivers & Lakes
Volume 1
(ISBN 1-929834-45-4)
International artist Publication.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Publications; The watercolour "Skies and Clouds" Techniques

"River clouds", watercolour on paper

Through International Artist Magazine I have contributed to a number of publications produced by them over the past couple of years.

In The Watercolour "Skies and Clouds" Techniques of 23 International artists (phew!), I contributed to a chapter entitled - "Angus McEwan demonstrates how optical mixing can create richer colours". In this chapter I basically explain how I use watercolour, through a series of pure coloured layers rather than through colour mixing.

"Early morning - St Andrews", watercolour on paper
"Early morning - St Andrews" (above) is featured in the book. It shows me working step by step through the painting process towards the finished piece.
If you are interested in purchasing this or any other book by International artist you can find them here at;
The ISBN no for the "skies and clouds" book is as follows - (1-929834-35-7)
UK (£18.99)
US ($29.99)
I shall show you other publications later.

Monday, June 26, 2006

International Guild of Realism

" Holding back the pressure", Watercolour on Paper

I have mentioned on previous postings that I am an elected member of the Royal Scottish society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW). I am also an associate member of the International Guild of Realism (IGOR).

I am unashamedly a realist painter and believe that you should be true to yourself, with that in mind I have nailed my flag to this particular post with rivets.

The International guild of realism's mission is "to advance realism in Fine Art and to promote the careers of representational artists".

You can find the guild at this address;

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Alastair Salvesen Award

Imperial Facade, watercolour on paper

It has been 10 years since I received this scholarship. I spent 3 months in China, and it proved to a seminal point in my art career in terms of subject matter, materials and methods used.

Turning point- Winning the Alastair Salvesen Award

When I decided to return to college in 1995 to study a post Graduate Certificate in Secondary Education, I had already been painting, and exhibiting, as well as working full time for eight years. It was during this period while at College, that I applied for a number of scholarships, one of which, I was fortunate enough to win, the Alastair Salvesen Travel scholarship.

I chose to visit China, and spent 3 months traveling and painting, almost as soon as I had graduated that June in 1996. I traveled from Beijing to Xian, Chongching to Nanjing, down the Yangtze River, and then on to Guilin and Yangshuo in the South of China.

As part of winning the scholarship, it was necessary for me to produce a number of paintings documenting my experiences. These were then to be exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, on my return to Scotland. In the end I produced a total of 51 pieces.

I worked mainly from life and began to establish a rapport with watercolour, a medium I hadnt really explored properly up until that point. Since the material was light and convenient to carry, I found I could climb hills, produce a painting at the top, return to the hotel and finish the work from memory. This versatility gave me confidence to really start enjoying watercolour and I began to experiment with it.

This was the turning point where I established my interest and association with the medium of watercolour. The year before, I had been elected a member of the royal Scottish Society in Painters in Watercolours, but it was mainly with my acrylic work. I really didnt start using the medium in earnest until the China trip in 96.

For the past few years I have concentrated on watercolour and I have discovered and investigated a number of techniques which can describe a multitude of surfaces, (which I think are particularly unique). I owe it all to winning the Scholarship because it forced me to confront a medium I had considered at one point too difficult to even contemplate trying.

Escape, Oil on Board 1996

The reason for bringing up the Salvesen Award is to mention that my friend and colleague at Dundee College, David Martin is the most recent recipient and you can follow his travels through the middle East (brave man).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Welcome to Marrakech, Watercolour on paper

I am still working on the Morocco series for my exhibition in the Open Eye Gallery. I have a couple of months to work on my paintings and have completed about half the show .

Small paintings like this one still take me around a day to complete. Some of the larger pieces take months. What matters to me is the quality of the work and I would never knowingly let a piece out of the studio incomplete. The worst thing to me is to come across an older work which I know is not finished to the best of my ability at the time.

A finished work is one that no longer annoys me. When I do finish them I like to put them away and not look at them for quite some time. I know some artists like to live with their work for a while but not me. Once they are complete I move on mentally.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Made in Fife

The Alchemist's door, watercolour on paper

A mixed exhibition featuring the work of artists living or working in Fife opened on the 2nd of June, 2006 at the Jerdan Gallery, Crail. The exhibition continues until the 26th of June, 2006 and some of the work can be viewed at their website;

I have 4 pieces in the show, two of which are seen here.

"The Ascent", watercolour on paper

Sunday, June 18, 2006

In the Store

"In the Stone of Venice", watercolour on Paper, 101 x 117cm

Sometimes through circumstance, the storeroom contains one or two gems which have only been viewed a couple of times. This piece, "In the Stones of Venice" was originally painted and shown in the Singer friedlander watercolour exhibition. When it returned I had it in the Queens Gallery for a couple of weeks then buried it in the store. I thought I would let you have a look as its feeling neglected (but alas not alone).

A wee note;

“In the Stones of Venice”, alludes to my feeling that the passing of time is conveyed by the surface history contained within an object, much in the way an old person is said to have their past written on their face.

In this painting I have hidden within the lower part of the wall, a map of Venice, which can be seen glinting from the surface like a vein of gold. The history of Venice is very much contained within her buildings and it was this, above all else, that impressed me the most about this unique city. So much so that I felt I needed to communicate this through my work.

The title also alludes to John Ruskin’s, “The stones of Venice”, where he spent long months working in Venice until he had reduced its beauties to “mouldings and mud”. My studies of Venice have reduced her to surface texture and ambiguity.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Saatchi Gallery

" The Water Guardian", watercolour on paper
Winner of the John Blockley prize, RI 2005

You can view some more of my work on the Saatchi Gallery website. A very informative and easy to use site, the virtual tour is definitely worth the visit.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thompsons Gallery Annual show

" Dragon slayer", watercolour on paper

Recently I have been informing everyone about where you can view and purchase my artwork in a "real gallery" setting rather than a virtual one. The obvious advantage is that seeing work in the flesh allows you to see subtleties, richness of texture, sense of size and the depth of the surface.
The beauty of the internet is that buyers from across the world can have the opportunity to view and purchase work that would previously be unseen except to a select few.
With that in mind, I will continue to show examples of my work on here and let you know where you can see or purchase them.
Thompsons Gallery, Annual show '06
( Aldeburgh, England)
3rd June-23rd June 2006

The Annual Exhibition is Thompson's largest and most important show, exhibiting works from all our major gallery artists and leading 20thC British Painters.
"Door of Ichthus", watercolour on paper