Saturday, 10 November 2007

Scottish Art on Fire

Artery Gallery is a leader amongst Scottish art galleries and has become known for not only its diverse collection of contemporary art, but also for its broad range of national and international artists with their own unique backgrounds.

One particular Scottish artist who fits this mold and is on constant exhibition at Artery Gallery with his 'Flaming Art', is professional artist from Airdrie, Derek Collins. Derek creates stunning works of abstract art by pouring carefully selected special resins, powders, pigments and liquids on to canvas. His creations really come to life when the main ingredient is added, fire!

Derek’s art is an extension of the specialist paint effects he has been applying for many years. He says, “I love the way other paints and lacquers affect one another, if one paint is not compatible the other paint does not want to touch it so it moves away or breaks the weaker paint and forms another effect. When you then add the thinners of different paints, another reaction takes place, too much thinner will make it flow out but set it alight and it will evaporate the thinners and seal off the paints.”

As well as these paints and lacquers, Derek has used all kinds of extra materials in his art, from sand and shards of glass to leaves and moss. Customers can even provide specific stones, gems and personal photographs that can be incorporated into the artwork. A couple of years ago he was approached by a woman who had come across his flaming art, and asked him to incorporate her mother’s ashes into a painting. Being an incredibly sensitive matter, it’s something Derek took on with great pride and care. He says “Quite often people are left with loved ones ashes and are not quite sure what to do with them. Using the ashes in a painting is a great way to commemorate a life, and creates something close and personal that can be kept in the home and more importantly in the family for years and years to come.” Derek has since been asked many times to create these special artworks incorporating the ashes of loved ones.

Even in his early years as a decorator, Dereks forte was the use of colour, but he has always had the passion to experiment and create. What he is achieving now with his art has just been a natural progression, all steming from many years ago when he was experimenting with decorative paint effects on his stone floors. Now he has all the freedom of expression he desires to create, on canvas, these fine works of contemporary abstract art.

Artery Gallery has been a major supporter of contemporary Scottish artists over the years and continues to boost artist profiles, such as that of Derek Collins. Derek says “I have made giant leaps forward in recent years and my art is very much recognised and highly sought after across Scotland and the UK, with Artery Gallery in St Andrews being the most prolific in selling my work”.

He has also helped raise money in an art auction for the Prince of Wales Hospice by donating, what proved to be, an extremely popular painting of Scottish comedian Billy Connolly emerging naked from the Clyde!

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