Friday, 30 October 2009

Paintings of St Andrews (with a funky new twist)

St Andrews, Winter £140

St Andrews is one of the most painted towns of Scotland, with artists of all genres favouring the town's beautiful West Sands beach, or the famous 18th Green of the Old Course.
One of our artists, Martin Devine says that St Andrews is one of his favourite subjects to paint, but with his unusual technique, and different outlook of the town, it gives the traditional St Andrews paitnting a fantastic modern twist.

St Andrews is a town which is steeped in history and tradition, and paintings of St Andrews often follow the traditional route, favouring golf scenes, lush greens and fairways, or images of the town's castle and Cathedral. Martin on the other hand paints St Andrews from a different angle, looking down into town from the East Sands direction, or looking into St Andrews as though you are out at sea. His unusual technique with watercolour only serves to update the traditional St Andrews image even more.

Martin uses watercolours, building up the colour, to get rich deep, pure tones and colours, and then he picks out the outlines using Indian ink, making the pictures almost 'pop'. The traditional idea of watercolour, is soft, pale, and watery, so this vibrant new take on a traditional medium really brings it into the 'noughties'.

Martin says that painting St Andrews is a pleasure - it's one of those towns that is so easily distinguishable, that even with a little artistic license when painting it, it is instantly recognisable. His other paintings also depict Scottish scenes, featuring rolling landscapes and quaint buildings - all with that modern twist.
All of Martin's paintings can be seen here,Martin/1/ or viewed at Artery Gallery, 43 South St, St Andrews

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Something Old, Something New......

Antalya Wool Rug

Those who are familiar with Artery Gallery will know that we are always looking for something new and different to display here as it's always great to bring new work into the gallery, alongside our regular firm favourites. Discovering a new artist for our gallery is one of the most exciting aspects of working within the art world, and looking for new artists and different styles is something we all do here, not only as a matter of course, but as a passion.

We have found something new for Artery again, while on our travels - we now have a collection of beautiful hand woven Turkish woollen rugs and silk rugs.
I suppose hand woven rugs aren't art in a traditional sense, but the creativity and skill required to produce these, make them one of the finest art forms possible. We have two types of rug - those made from sheeps wool, and those made from silk.

Our woollen rugs are spun from wool taken from the sheeps soft neck, chest and belly area, as it is the downiest wool on the body. Many woollen rugs from other countries tend to use wool from the back and flanks of an animal, which is courser textured and gives a sparse and hard texture to the pile of the rug. Rugs made from soft belly and neck wool have a very dense and downy texture. The rugs have different designs on them, some depicting scenes, and some with patterns, which mean something, and are specific to particular areas of Turkey. Turkish women can spend anything from months to years making a rug, so sometimes sometimes a lifetime is expressed in designs, symbols and patterns on a rug, it also means that some of the rugs can be many years old.

Our silk rugs have a glorious soft sheen to them, and my own thought is that they are so soft, they feel like the back of puppy dog's ears! It's wonderful to have a piece of art which is so tactile. With silk, the colour of the rug can change, and shimmer depending on which way you look at it, because silk is a light-reflecting material. Turkish silk rugs are reputedly the finest in the world as there are over 200 individual knots per square inch, make it one of the most difficult handmade works to produce due to the attention to detail it require. As with the wool rugs, the silk rugs either depict a scene or pattern, which can tell a story, or denote the area they come from. Unlike the wool rugs, the silk rugs are brand new, and although the colour will mature on them, the vibrancy and 'brand new' appearance is maintained in silk.

All Turkish rugs use natural plant and vegetable dyes as opposed to chemical dyes which are often used on imitations, and in rugs produced in other countries. Plant dyes change with age, but mature and mellow, maintaining their vibrancy, but developing an aged look (a bit like humans!). Chemical dyes can fade, and the colour can be stripped out altogether, or worse still, totally change colour. Turkish dyes are all natural, and each strand of wool is dyed entirely from end to end, rather than perhaps having several different colours on the one strand.

Stop in to the gallery for a look (and feel) of these beautiful works of art.

Monday, 5 October 2009

St Andrews Has a Fours Star Arts Venue.....Us!

We have reason to celebrate this week at Artery - we have just been given the prestigiuos award of Four Star Arts Venue by VisitScotland!

We are delighted to receive this award, in recognition of all our hard work and attention to detail over the years. We also think it's great to be able to bring this accolade to St Andrews - we can now boast that St Andrews has one of only sixteen four star arts venues in the whole of Scotland.

VisitScotland award star ratings to different types of establishments such as hotels, restaurants and museums and these star ratings are used to give customers and tourists a guide to what to expect from an attraction. Every detail is scrutinised such as pricing, cleanliness, appearance, customer service, and consideration of children - everything!

Artery's selection of interesting and unusual artwork - everything from clocks, to ceramics and paintings - and our clear and sensible pricing structure were a particular positive for us, pushing us into the four-stars category.

We'll continue to push ourselves to bring our customers the best in contemporary art, great customer service and a different class of gallery altogether.