Tue, 26 Nov 2019
Drizzly Monday Afternoon

A Monday afternoon, a bit wet, but getting out of the house for an hour or so to look at some art. First call was the Dundas Street Gallery for an exhibition called Lost Castles by Nichol Wheatley. He was in the gallery and very personable for a chat about his background, art, technique etc. .The oil paintings seem to be popular and quite a few were sold, always a great sign and good to see. The works are colourful and striking, the theme being old Scottish castles, often run down and broken. Lochs, sunsets and mist can add to the atmosphere.

Below: Castle Tioram at Dusk, Nichol Wheatley, oil

Second gallery visit was to the Torrance Gallery for a look at their Christmas Exhibition. The gallery is always interesting, showcasing a large number of art works. For Christmas 2019, even more works on display and some very good indeed. Of particular note were the watercolours by Ken Ferguson: beautiful work. He is the second watercolourist that's got my attention recently.

Below: Daybreak, Ken Ferguson, watercolour

See more of his work at the Holroyd Gallery site.


Sun, 24 Nov 2019
Edinburgh Art Fair 2019

There's an Edinburgh Art Fair every year and this was the first time I've been. As the name implies, it's a large fair full of stands showcasing works of art from lots of different artists and galleries. Quite a few artists were on hand to chat. There's painting, print, sculpture, ceramic (and other media I might have missed); overall a very worthwhile visit. I felt like asking about technique occasionally and came away with a better understanding of some (at least potentially). The main trouble I have is figuring out whether I've been down all the aisles and nooks and seen everything!

The best way to attend is to find a gallery "invite" and get in free: you should be able to pick one of these up compliments of a neighbourhood gallery and I got mine from Dacre Art who have a "pop-up" Christmas exhibition on Dundas Street just now.

I saw a lot of art I liked at the fair but one artist seemed to stand out for me that day: a watercolour artist called Janet Kenyon. I've never painted anything much in watercolour, but is is a medium with very particular qualities, often beautiful: if you can pull it off. Kenyon can. Her city and landscape paintings were very good indeed and I was tempted!

Left: Evening light Silloth on Solway, Janet Kenyon, watercolour, 53x50cm


Thu, 21 Nov 2019
Heroes and Villains
Ray Perman gave a very good talk at the Edinburgh Central Library about the history of finance in Edinburgh, in particular its various "Heroes and Villains". He has a book out called The Rise and Fall of the City of Money. I had a browse through the book in a shop and started finding it quite absorbing: but managed to rein in the temptation to buy (for now, my queue needs shortening).

His talk was excellent. Speaking off the cuff for about forty minutes he covered the foundation of the Bank of England, the Company of Scotland and subsequent Darien disaster, to the City of Glasgow bank collapse and all the way up to HBOS and RBS in 2008. A sobering talk in the end but also one that was witty and interesting. It also highlighted how far our system and regulation failed before, and after, the upheavals eleven years ago.

Ray Perman as a website.
The BBC has an article covering the book


Tue, 12 Nov 2019
Of Time and Place

A very decent collection of paintings by Neil MacDonald at the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh, in an exhibition called Of Time and Place. Most are modest in size but have a certain feeling and atmosphere to them.

The Open Eye Gallery a usually very good. I'm lucky to live near a lot of great private art galleries that change their displays regularly. Keeps things interesting.