Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Buying Art: What Scottish Painting Should You Buy?

Short answer: MINE!

I recently had a request from a client who looked for advice on where to look when buying more paintings. Despite this sounding a little like walking into Tesco and asking to point you in the direction of a good supermarket, I didn't take it the wrong way! The customer was in the process of commissioning a painting from me, and any collection needs a bit of diversity, so I took it as the compliment it was intended! Thought I would publish my response on this blog in case it may help anyone else out there!
(I did list some names of artists to avoid, but thought it might be best to omit them from this blog!)

It may be a matter of personal preference, but I can give you an idea of some of the Scottish artists out there I respect and who's work I admire:

Christopher Wood
If I was to hang 1 abstract work in my house, I'd like it to be 1 from him. Great use of colour, some unusual processes. His work is great if you can afford it! (2-2.5 x price of my work). His website is excellent and regularly updated:

Craig Peacock
I teach alongside Craig at Reid Kerr College Creative Arts. He has a "Wasps" artist's studio in Hanson St, Glasgow. I regularly poke fun at him for not having his own website! but you will find him on the web in various other sites. The best representation of his current work would be:

Rowena Comrie
Just been shortlisted last week for the Aspect Prize and looks likely (in my opinion) to end up winning. A mixed bag of work, some I'm not keen on, some is really striking. http://www.axisweb.org/seCVWK.aspx?ARTISTID=5243

Jim Wylie
I've always admired his clean, bold brushwork and use of colour. Based in Ayrshire, he paints mostly Scottish Landscape. Lots of his work around the web and is reasonably priced.

Peter Howson
I've always admired his work since I went to a solo exhibition in the McLennan Gallery, Glasgow when I was 15 years old. It was then I told my mum "this is what I want to do".
His figurative depictions of various grotesque characters may be a little too much for some to live with, but I really enjoy his work. Despite working in such a wildly different genre of painting, Howson remains a big influence for me.


As a rule, if you're not sure who is a real prospect, make sure the artist has a degree from an Art School. There are some good self taught artists out there but they are few and far between and stand a much poorer chance of being recognised or "making it". Also do a check on what galleries they show with. I show with scotlandart.com on Bath Street and DiRollo Gallery, Dundas St, Edinburgh which are both galleries who would not hang any substandard work. Some galleries are run by owners with no clue about art or any taste... check how long the gallery has been established, these galleries don't last long!

The Glasgow Art Fair, George Square (think it will be SECC next year)
You must get down to see the Art Fair. It gives a great selection and overview of Scottish Art from Commercial Galleries. It brings Galleries from all over Scotland and beyond under one roof. Galleries need to qualify for entry by submitting which artists' work they are hanging and so the vast majority is of a good quality... some do inevitably slip the net!

Hope this is of some use to you. Good luck hunting for paintings, the most important judge of artwork you own, is you! Number 1 reason to buy is to bring you daily pleasure admiring it. Instant appeal isn't always the best sign to buy, artwork, like music can be a "grower".

All the best, back to the painting!


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