Tag Archives: exhibition

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’s neo-classical architecture, as seen through the eyes of two architectural photographers, working half a cen­tury apart. Edwin Smith (1912-72), and Colin McLean who has spent the last two years re-interpreting Smith’s 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.

The Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery

Inspired by advertising prints made over 100 years ago.u exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery is inspiring

This is the first exhibition held at the National Galleries of Scotland devoted to the art of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). Coming from an advertising background myself I find his work so inspiring, the limited use of colour and striking imagery which captured the imagination and turned mass produced posters into artwork for many years to come.

Most famous of all are his posters for the nightspots of the bohemian district of Montmartre in Paris, where Toulouse-Lautrec lived, worked and socialised, including the now legendary café-cabarets Le Moulin Rouge and Le Chat Noir.

The exhibition which runs until 20th January 2019 focuses on Toulouse-Lautrec’s lithographic posters, portfolio prints and illustrations which made stars of Montmartre’s venues and their entertainers.

But also we see his portrait sketches in pencil and some of the less known rejected artwork. The exhibition creates a glimpse of the man who, over one hundred years ago created such lovely sketches from rehearsals or back stage including the acts, the orchestra and the crowd.

I’m looking forward to doing more of that myself in the summer.

The sketch was made with fine liner ink pens and a watercolour set and brush. PS I added the writing on the walls 😉

For more information and to book see the National Galleries Scotland website here. 

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

Our World Heritage Site

A new exhibition in the heart of the Old Town celebrates Edinburgh as a world heritage site, showcasing the thoughts and opinions of those who call the city home.

The exhibition, housed within the stunning and atmospheric 17th Tron kirk, attempts to capture the essence of our World Heritage Site through the views and perspectives of local people.

As you walk around the 6ft panels of photos, videos, quotes and statistics the story of Edinburgh as it is today is told in sections, the green spaces, housing and building within the city and what it is like to live in the capital.

Each section appears to be a starting point for discussion. For instance 49% of Edinburgh is made up of green spaces, but is the city really green enough environmentally? And how do we protect Edinburgh’s Heritage status in the years to come, through building and conservation.

At the end a huge black board encourages visitors to recommend their Edinburgh highlights, places to visit and experiences to enjoy which may need protecting in the years to come.

And can you name all Scotland’s six World Heritage Sites?

The Antonine Wall; Heart of Neolithic Orkney; New Lanark; St Kilda; The Forth Bridge and The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh. Thanks to Historic Environment Scotland for the links and info about them all.

This sketch was drawn on location at the Tron Kirk with a fineliner pen and watercolours, and water brush. 


Edinburgh World Heritage 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

The Tomb: Ancient Egyptian Burial

TheTomb room2
A new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street tells the story of an ancient Egyptian tomb over 1000 years.

The exhibition which opens today and is open until September 3rd explores a tomb consructed in the great city of Thebes (modern day Luxor) shortly after the reign of Tutankhamun.

First built for the chief of police and his wife, it was looted and reused several times, leaving behind a collection of beautiful objects from various eras.

TheTomb mummy-case

Large pieces like the mummy-case (a detail of which I have drawn above) and intricate and delicate objects are displayed to give an insight into what the ancient Egyptians beliefs were and how they remebered the individual, protected thebody and spirit after death.

Below are a set of ‘Four Sons of Horus Amulets’ which measure around four inches in height and were placed in the tomb to protect the lungs, intestines, liver and stomach. Also below is a unique, full length, painted mummy shroud.

TheTomb room1

This exhibition is full of beautiful objects and a joy to look around and learn more about a facinating time in history.

National Museums Scotland website

The Celts are coming … to the National Museum of Scotland

Celts_Sandstone Cross
Tomorrow, the 10th March sees the arrival of the eagerly anticipated ‘Celts’ exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street, Edinburgh.


This major exhibition, their first of 2016 spans more than 2, 500 years and unravels the story of those who have used or been given the name ‘Celts’ through the extraordinary art objects they made and used.


The piece I have sketched using cross hatching and shading techniques is a grey sandstone slab from Monifieth in Angus Scotland. Probably carved in the 9th century it is decorated with a cross carved in relief and filled with interlace and spiral patterns.


I’m looking forward to seeing this and around 300 other treasured objects from across the UK and Europe, assembled together in Scotland for the first time in this fascinating exhibition.


Find out more at the NMS website below.


This sketch is drawn in black fine liner, drawn free hand with no pencil.


National Museum of Scotland website

Photography: A Victorian Sensation, at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Museum_DaguerreotypeThis week I visited the current exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street, Edinburgh.

‘Photography: A Victorian Sensation’ runs until November 22 and chronicles the birth of photography, from early shadows on a copper plate with the pioneering inventors, Louis Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot through the hugely popular stereoscopic photography to self developing your own film in a dark room like I was taught at college. Which of course now has been succeeded by the instant and simple digital photography we all use today.


Indeed many of you may not remember having to put your spent film in at the chemist and waiting a day or two for your photographs to be developed. I am thankful for the ease of taking a photo now and having it instantly available to share on line or use for work, but I also remember the excitement of picking up photos with my mum and looking through, reliving the event a week later!


The exhibition runs until November 22nd and is well worth and hour or two to see the wonderful portraits taken not that long ago, when photography was scene as magical, amazing and life changing.




My two sketches were drawn in black ink at the exhibition and then coloured later with a water colour wash.


National Museum of Scotland website


Just Festival launch – 15 years of light

JustFestival_Launch2015Last night I attended the Just Festival launch at St John’s Church, Edinburgh.

Once known as the Festival of Spirituality and Peace, the Just Festival marks its fifteenth edition under the theme of ’15 years of Light’. As Festival Director puts it, ‘We are lighting up our programme with candles of celebration and reflection’


International, multi-cultural and multi-faith the festival hosts events in many Edinburgh locations, including the Central Mosque, various Church of Scotland kirks and and cathedrals and at The Filmhouse. Also this year the Central Hall in Toll cross will be hosting many events.


The programme which runs from August 7th to 31st features a huge range of art and performance art created to provoke and create conversation. Including talks, conversations, performance art, films, workshops and art installations, which is where I am extremely honoured to say I come in.


I will have an exhibition of sketches located in the Chapel at St John’s Church, which is stuated on the corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road.


‘Sketching the Shadows’ will take a look at the hidden side of Edinburgh, the shaded spots in the heart of the city which go unseen to many of the capitals population. Through my free scribbled style I hope to shine a light on these forgotten or ignored areas.

Just Festival website

St John’s Church website


Seaside Exhibition at The Haven Cafe

HavenWallThis week I have been putting up a new exhibition at The Haven Cafe in Newhaven, Edinburgh.


Famed for their legendary breakfasts and home baking the Havenettes are very welcoming and run a relaxed and homely cafe between Leith and Granton Harbour.


My wall is on the right as you enter the light and airy eatery, so find them out if you havent already. Enjoy a scrummy breakfast or delightful coffee and cake , whilst looking at my high quality prints. They are priced from £25 to £49 and available to take straight away.


The Haven Cafe website.