Tag Archives: city art centre

Scottish Artists Celebrated

Today a new exhibition opens at the City Art Centre featuring work by the Glasgow Boys and the Scottish Colourists amongst many others.

‘National Treasure: The Scottish Modern Arts Association’ reveals the story of this a unique collection, and the artists represented in it.

Founded in Edinburgh in 1907, the association was established by artists and their supporters, and aimed to secure a collection of modern Scottish art.

I loved how diverse the mediums and subjects are, from the stunning details in Ernest Lumsden’s etchings to the loose pastel sketches from Julia Beatrice How. There are small delicate pieces and large scale bright and colourful murals. I also loved how I knew some of the scenes and subjects from around Scotland.

Exhibitions like this of multiple artists using a wide range of mediums and styles are so inspiring. Everyone should see this (it would be a great school visit) as you can see that art can come in all styles, sizes and some you will like and some you will not. To me they show that there is not a right and wrong, and everyone can create their art.

Well done City Art Centre, I will be back to take it all in again. Go see it, before mid October.

City Art Centre website.

Charles H Mackie retospective

On Saturday 15th May the City Art Centre reopens with a retrospective of a Scottish artist we should all know about.

First off, it is great news to be seeing that the City Art Centre on Market street is reopening after the lockdowns. Home to historic and modern Scottish painting and photography, as well as contemporary art and craft, the central venue has been greatly missed.

Earlier this week I had the chance to visit their new exhibition about an extremely talented and driven Scottish artist who I hadn’t previously heard of. But I am not alone and Mackie biographer and researcher Pat Clark told me the exhibition is a long-overdue tribute to one of Scotland‚Äôs outstanding and unjustly neglected artists.

The exhibition brings both private and public pieces together and is an exclusive chance to see the artists wide range of work in one place, from small Scottish rural scenes, to large Venetian oil pieces.

Born in Aldershot and brought up in Edinburgh, Mackie traveled and painted around Europe and the UK, creating beautiful art using a wide range of materials including watercolours, wood block printing and oils.

I loved sing the original watercolours along side wood block prints of the same scene. The wood block process reminds me of more illustrative pieces, the colours are strong and bright.

I took my pad and made notes and sketches, just totally loving being in a gallery again and the injection of inspiration that gives me. Welcome back City Art Centre ūüôā

Charles H. Mackie: Colour and Light runs from 15th May 2021 ‚Äď 10th October 2021, at the City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, Edinburgh. Admission is free, but pre booking is essential for the time being. You can do this via the website below:

City Art Centre website

Workshops in the city

Last week I was back at the City Art Centre with a sketching workshop to tie into their current exhibition: Classical Edinburgh.

I was asked to run a couple of workshops to tie in with the Classical Edinburgh exhibition of photographs which is free to see until Sunday 8th March at the Market Street gallery.

This exhibition is a celebration of Edinburgh‚Äôs neo-classical architecture, as seen through the eyes of two architectural photographers, working half a cen¬≠tury apart. Edwin Smith (1912-72), and Colin McLean who has spent the last two years re-interpreting Smith‚Äôs evocative black and white images. 

I used the stunning images to kick off some sketching, picking out certain features and tones to make often very detailed views seem simpler to tackle with pen and paper.

The results were amazing (the above sketches were by those attending) and the two sessions were very enjoyable, with all my workshoppers leaving with a few completed drawings one of which they mounted in a card frame.

I will be running another two sessions the day before the exhibition ends on Saturday March 7th and if you want to join me the £28 ticket (£18 for children 7-15 yrs) which includes all materials needed plus a hot beverage can be booked via the link below.

Capturing Classical Edinburgh at the City Art Centre – 2.5 hour sketch tour

More information about the exhibition can be found here:

Classical Edinburgh, 9 November 2019 to 8 March 2020 at the City Art Centre.

Colourful, imaginative and inspiring: Edwin G. Lucas

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Edwin G. Lucus (1911-1990) is one of the most unique Scottish painters of the 20th century.

For the first time a major exhibition at the City Art Centre has brought together his work from private and public collections.

Influenced by the surrealist movement in the 1930’s he made a number of works in this style but by no means all his work and by looking round the large show of over 60 pieces you can see how his style had changed over the years.

This largely self taught artist was discouraged from pursuing the ‘risky’ profession of artist, instead becoming a civil servant, although he remained prolific painter. I will be running a workshop inspired by the surrealist art of Lucus later in the year, more details can be found via the Museum & Galleries website.

There are some beautifully colourful pieces, full of imagination and confidence which is inspiring. Together with sketchbooks and paint sets, notes and keepsakes, these finished pieces tell the story of this surprisingly unknown Scottish artist. He had a unique and wonderful talent which deserves to be seen and recognised.

Edwin G. Lucus: An Individual Eye runs from 4th August to 10th February 2019. Free entry. 

Museum & Galleries Edinburgh website

Find Hidden Gems within the City Art Centre this Autumn

Hidden Gems - City Art CentreA new exhibition starts tomorrow at the City Art Centre, showcasing some forgotten treasures from well known artists.

Housed in the basement floor of the City Art Centre on Market Street the Hidden Gems exhibition brings together some of the venues lesser known objects from their 4,800 strong fine art collection.

These pieces have rarely been seen in public and are now getting their time to shine. I got a sneak peak yesterday and loved the wide range of artwork on display, from both artists I knew and those I was unfamiliar with.

I left feeling inspired

This is the¬†main reason for visiting a museum or gallery for me:¬†to see the works you know up close but also to discover and learn about those you don’t.

I love the idea of Hidden Gems and hope the City Art Centre continue the idea but rotate the objects. I left feeling inspired and also happy that these pieces were finally getting the acclaim they deserve.

My watercolour above was drawn at the exhibition and shows a bronze in the foreground dated 1903, by Edinburgh born sculptor Ottilie Maclaren Wallace OBE, ARBS (1875-1947). The piece is entitled F.S. Oliver and is a portrait of her brother in law.

Find out more about the Hidden Gems exhibition (7th Oct 2017 – 13th May 2018) in the City Art Centre What’s On guide HERE.

City Art Centre website

Also – Don’t miss ‘Edinburgh Alphabet, An A-Z of the city’s collections’. A¬†charming and fascinating exhibition on at the City Art Centre until Sunday 8th October

A day at the Edinburgh International Science Festival

ScienceFestival_2016jpgI spent the day at the City Art Centre, home to the Edinburgh International Science Festival until April 10th.

With an aim to ‘inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the world around them’ the two-week festival gives audiences amazing experiences through a diverse programme of innovative events. Although the festival is spread out around the capital, the City Art Centre remains the flagship family venue and boasts six floors of fun experiments and workshops to keep the whole family entertained.

I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to return next week with the Sketcher Twins. Highlights include creating slime to be splatted against a huge target, and the Photolab where youngsters can create their own image on photographic paper in a darkroom.

Each floor is cleverly split into workshops appealing to different ages, so there is something for all the family on each level. Take a packed lunch, there is a room on the top floor for you to eat it and remember to check the website below where you can book some of the workshops before you arrive.

My sketch today was drawn as I walked around the event in black ink pen and watercolour. Below are a few close ups of my drawing. If you would like your event sketched get in touch at contact@edinburghsketcher.com

The Edinburgh International Science Festival website.


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