Scottish Landscape Awards at the City Art Centre, Edinburgh (4 Nov 2023 – 3 March 2024)

Saturday 4 November saw the opening of the inaugural Scottish Landscape Awards (SLAs) at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre.

And I was delighted to be able to attend the highly anticipated private view of this prestigious new exhibition the evening before, having had my etching of Dunnottar Castle shortlisted for the SLAs back in July.

It was one of only 133 artworks to be shortlisted from almost 3000 entries and, although it didn’t win a prize, I was extremely proud to see it hanging in a fantastic spot in one of the country’s best and most visited public galleries.

Dunnottar Castle, etching and aquatint

It was a wonderful evening of catching up with some old friends in my former Edinburgh stomping ground, as well as meeting a few of my own favourite artists for the first time. It also allowed me to see what’s happening right now at the sharp end of Scottish landscape painting and printmaking.

The variety of work on show at the Scottish Landscape Awards – not to mention the talent and skill employed to create it – ensure that this is a hugely enjoyable exhibition for artists and art lovers alike, showcasing the country’s huge diversity in subject matter and the many different and intriguing techniques used to create the pieces.

My partner Pam who accompanied me on the night

And, of course, its always great to see your work shown alongside your peers and some of this country’s most successful and admired artists.

Barbra Rae announcing the SLA winners (photo by Greg Macvean)

My image of Dunnottar Castle came about as part of a commission I was awarded by Aberdeen Art Galleries & Museums in January 2023. Click here to learn more about and the various printmaking methods I used in its creation. I am also very proud to have an artist’s proof of this print, along with the 3 others I produced for that commission, in Aberdeen Art Galleries & Museums’¬†permanent art collection.

Describing my working methods to the Friends of Aberdeen Art Galleries & Museums at the city’s Treasure Hub earlier this year on completion of the commission

This has been a particularly busy and hugely rewarding year for me so far: with two successful solo shows under my belt at Frames Gallery in Perth and Inverness Creative Academy; the aforementioned commission from Aberdeen Art Galleries & Museums; and another for luxury Edinburgh-based leather goods brand Strathberry Ltd (of which there will be more to report soon).

At the Scottish Landscape Awards private view with my show catalogue and print of Dunnottar Castle

And having my work included in the inaugural Scottish Landscape Awards exhibition, as well as featured in the gorgeous catalogue that accompanies the show, means that this has also been my most successful year to date.

Meffan Winter Show 2023

But it doesn’t end there for 2023, or for this particular print! I am happy to say that Dunnottar Castle is also featured in the Meffan Art Gallery annual winter show, which opened in Forfar on Friday 10 November.

As for the rest of the year, I will be working hard to produce new paintings and prints for my next solo show, which is at Graystone Gallery in Edinburgh in February. Details to follow, but I am excited to be the first artist to have a solo show at their brand-new gallery premises in Stockbridge.

The Scottish Landscape Awards is on until 3 March 2024 at the City Art Centre, Edinburgh. Click here to buy a gorgeous catalogue featuring every picture in the exhibition.

Dunnottar Castle, in a limited edition of only 40 signed and numbered prints, is currently available to purchase (in a frame) at the City Art Centre, Edinburgh and the Meffan Institute, Forfar. Unframed prints can also be bought directly from my shop by clicking here.

Spectacular Winter Show with Graystone Gallery at ‘The Art Hotel’, 24 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh

I am very excited to be showing several of my oil paintings and handmade prints with Edinburgh’s newest purveyor of fine art, Graystone Gallery. Owner Lesley has found a truly inspired space for her inaugural show in what has to be the most exquisite and stylish boutique hotel I’ve ever seen!

And you are invited to the Private View at 24 Royal Terrace this coming Thursday (details below).

 

On any given day, the walls of 24 Royal Terrace, aka The Art Hotel, are full of colour and when I dropped off my own works for this winter show last Friday I was astonished (in a very good way!) to see such a huge variety of great art in one incredible setting. The pictures above give only a tiny taste of what it’s really like in there!

Glitter Moon – Blue
Etching and screen print
58 x 48cm (image size)

The hotel owner, who has personally collected art from around the world and curated each and every room herself, not only has excellent taste but has created a highly unique setting in which you can indulge yourself over a cocktail or a fine whisky while taking in some fabulous contemporary art.

The Bass Rock (Nocturne)
Oil on wood panel
74 x 74cm framed

Alongside some pretty huge and important works by the likes of John Bellany and Alan Davie, there’s a highly ecclectic mix of landscapes, figurative and abstract pieces that should pique the interest of any art enthusiast. I could easily have spent a day in there myself!

Dubh Artach
Oil on wood panel
74 x 74cm framed

For this first Graystone Gallery pop-up show a number of the walls have been rehung with works by around 20 contemporary artists from Scotland and beyond, including 9 by yours truly.

Where There Is Light
Oil on wood panel
78cm x 78cm framed

So if you love art and happen to be in Edinburgh this coming Thursday evening then you need to get along to the private view (details below)!

Rattray Head (Cirrus Clouds)
Oil on canvas
79 x79cm framed

If you can’t make that then the show will run until 2 Jan 2023. And, as you can see below, Lesley has also organised a number of events to run alongside this show, including an Artist’s Night, at which I and a couple of others will discuss our techniques and inspirations.

It all promises to be a very special feast for the eyes and one not to be missed this festive period!