So another year has passed in a flash - and what a year it has been! We have had another successful 12 months at both of our locations, as we introduced new artists, welcomed some of our best selling ones to the gallery for personal appearances and hosted or attended some exceptional events and exhibitions.. and we wanted to take this opportunity as the New Year approaches, to invite you to look back with us at some of our favourite and most memorable moments from 2019!
We began the year in the best way we know how to - with our annual January sale and for once.. what normally feels like the longest month of the year actually flew by with lots of people coming into the gallery to see us or making purchases online and keeping us incredibly busy! After this was over we were ready to gear ourselves up for the first personal appearance of the year- and there was no better artist to kick us off than the fantastic wildlife painter, Katy Jade Dobson!
Katy was returning for her third show with us, her first taking place back in 2016 and the second in the summer of last year, and this time she was appearing to reveal her brand new Spring collection with us - one she had been working on for many months prior. On Saturday the 30th of March we unveiled 'Entanglement', one of her largest bodies of work to date featuring eighteen new larger scale original oil paintings, sixteen sample sized oil paintings and ten sketches - and some quality limited edition prints scattered in there for good measure too. Katy was also revealing a very new and diverse style and range of techniques she had been perfecting towards the end of 2018. When discussing the new collected she stated "I think the approach to the painting process has made the collection different visually, but I think the focus of this collection shines a new light on what I can do and also shows the subjects in a very new way! Compositionally the pieces are worlds away from my previous work but of course my technique and my use of colours has remained the same." We took a lot of our inspiration from the new paintings - especially the additions of many wonderful floral pieces, when dressing the gallery and made the special effort to transform it into an extraordinary 'indoor English garden'. It was an absolutely tremendous day for all involved - so many had such lovely things to say about the arrangement of the gallery and we are so honoured - plus of course, everyone was blown away by Katy's new collection as soon as they stepped in the door, and some really lucky buyers went away with some stunning new personally dedicated works that we know they will treasure forever! Katy had also hand crafted a set of origami birds for the day, which were placed in boxes and given to the first 50 people into the exhibition. Two would receive either a gold or silver bird, entitling them a free limited edition or original commissioned work - so not surprisingly we had some especially delighted visitors on the day! It certainly made our March having Katy here and we have already made big plans to have her back in Edinburgh in 2020 - so watch this space!
We also introduced a brand new artist in March - the highly accomplished photography artist, Michelle Mackie - better known as 'Dolly' to her many thousands of followers through social media!
Having spent many years perfecting her digital based skills, manipulating her own photography & using source material that is totally unique, the end results are really quite special and unlike anything else in the marketplace right now. Michelle's first release was made up of a strong set of 12 diverse artworks - and seemed to go down exceptionally well with our clients, so we happily welcomed her as a permanent part of the Robertson Fine Art portfolio. We are set tp organise our first ever exhibition with Michelle in the new year, so keep an eye out for more information to follow soon!
April saw the release of JJ Adams first collection of 2019 - his Spring Collection featuring 6 brand new images (7 new works in total) released on Saturday the 6th, which included some of the worlds most iconic superstars and best loved film characters - there was something to excite just about everyone and every JJ fan of course....
This was a hugely successful month for another well known artist of ours, Gerard M Burns. In April, he visited Hong Kong to Auction off this incredible portrait of Doddie Weir (Scottish Rugby Royalty) in aid of his MND charity.
The amount raised smashed the £100,000 mark - making this the first 6 figure sale of a Gerard M Burns painting as far as we know.
The night was a complete success with with huge Scottish names such as Sir Billy Connolly, Scott Hastings, Ian McGeehan and of course Doddie all in attendance.
We have worked closely with Gerard for years now and have always tipped him for huge international success. This certainly seems to be the start of something special. The painting is due to be a permanent display in the Scottish National Portrait gallery in early 2020.
May only meant one thing this year and that was our return to the Glasgow Art Fair at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, which as usual, was an incredibly positive experience and a chance for us to catch up with our clients from that neck of the woods. Before we knew it, it was June - and time for one of our most diverse yet truly memorable exhibitions we have ever presented. As the first of it's kind, and one of our biggest exhibitions to date, we could not have been more eager or more excited to open our doors for the grand opening 'The Scottish Contemporaries Exhibition' -on Saturday the 8th this year. The exhibition ran until Saturday the 22nd of Jun and operated as a celebration of some of the most accomplished modern day artists the country has to offer, and bringing them together all under one roof. We had a total of 14 Scottish artists on display including new originals and limited edition works from the likes of Ron Lawson, Peter Howson, Gerard M Burns, Frank McFadden and Lynn Rodgie to name a few. We were also incredibly lucky enough to secure a collection of stunning original oil paintings from the legendary landscape painter John Lowrie Morrison! This was a fantastic opportunity to bring to light the diverse talent Scotland has to offer - from local artists to some very big names in the artworld. Each one was met with a really positive reaction and again many clients took home some beautiful works of art, so we were delighted with the event as a whole (and actually we were a bit sad to take it all down at the end!)
One stand out piece from this exhibition that certainly had everyone talking, and was actually one of the first pieces to sell at the exhibition was the phenomenal 'Memento Mori' by Glasgow artist Frank McFadden. We thought it was important to give Frank a particular mention in this years blog as although we have had him on board with us for some time now - this year we believe his work has reached new heights, with 5 of these large scale and incredibly detailed works selling through the gallery since the summer. We are sure the potential surrounding this artist at the moment will only continue to develop next year.
Following on from the Scottish Contemporaries Exhibition, we enjoyed a (slightly) more relaxed month before August hit and with it, one busiest and most exciting times for Edinburgh - The annual Fringe Festival! As if that wasn't exhilarating enough, we had been entrusted with the enormous responsibility of unveiling JJ Adams long anticipated autumn collection in our Hanover gallery! Every year we try to outdo the last and with such an amazing response to last years event - there was a lot of to live up to, but we definitely rose to the challenge. On Saturday the 17th of August after weeks of preparation, kitting out the gallery and perfecting our arrangement of all the works - we opened our doors to one of the largest crowds of people we have ever seen, queuing all the way along Hanover Street! Fans from all across the UK piled into the gallery, to be greeted with a stunning cocktail supplied by Tonic Bar once again - and of course the first sight of JJ's 'Rule Britannia' collection - 10 new images and a whole display of jaw-dropping originals and limited edition works that filled the full gallery. The first hour of the exhibition can only be described as a total blur, as collectors and fans snatched up their 'mix tape' (one entitling a lucky person to a special 1/1 limited edition work) and grabbed their chance to secure their favourite image before they completely sold out! The place was packed and everyone had only completely positive things to say about the new series - that included his spin on famous faces like Sean Connery,George Michael and Elizabeth Taylor, pieces inspired by historical moments like Sir Malcolm Campbell's final record breaking land speed run in his infamous car 'Bluebird', and to the joy of many... the long awaited 'It's Mary That We Love' If you happened to miss the show this year, the video below will give you just the tiniest insight into the fantastic day experienced by all! We can't wait for next years event already....
JJ Adams - Autumn Collection Launch 2019 from Red Five Films on Vimeo
The Aberdeen Art Fair led us into September and naturally, we were still on a complete high from the events of the JJ exhibition and continued to sell out of his recent collection for most of this month. Then we began to prepare ourselves for one of the busiest months in our diary...
JJ released another two new limited edition works at the beginning of November, which were fueled by the ongoing political chattering of 'Brexit' - cue a sell out screen print mocking Boris Johnson, in the same fashion of last years hugely popular 'Make America Golf Again'....
Saturday 9th November marked our first ever Exhibition and Personal Appearance with celebrated Scottish landscape artist, Lynn Rodgie.
We could hardly wait to welcome Lynn to our Hanover Street Gallery, in a city which has given her so much inspiration in recent years and were incredibly excited to unveil the 60+ original oil paintings, making this her largest ever series of works all on display together! We had the best day and so many of you not only got the chance to meet Lynn for the first time, but also got to take home some really beautiful original works. We have had a fantastic run with Lynn's work since the show and we are really looking forward to planning another exhibition with her soon!
With only a moment to catch our breaths, we were on our way to the 15th anniversary of the Edinburgh Art Fair. We exhibited over the weekend of the 21st to the 24th of November with some incredible collections from our best artists including - JJ Adams, Gerard M Burns, Jolomo, Katy Jade Dobson and Peter Howson. The show was another huge success for us - selling a record number of originals over the 4 days.
We returned to the gallery to set up for final personal appearance of the year and obviously we had to go out with a bang! After a tremendous initial year with Craig Davison on board, sold out collections and an amazing personal appearance last November, Craig's first ever show in Scotland, we were thrilled that he was back for another appearance and collection launch this year! On Saturday the 30th of November 1-3pm we welcomed his fans to the gallery to see his entire available body of work on display. It was a fantastic day and the perfect chance to have artworks personally dedicated and have a chat with Craig, plus the opportunity to see his fabulous full collection all together in one place!
We are really looking forward to seeing what Craig Davison has in store for us next year as he discussed a few potential designs with us (that we are keeping tight lipped on at the moment though I'm afraid!)
This month we have been enjoying the Christmas rush, getting in the festive spirit with our 2019 'virtual calendar' (you can follow this on social media!) and delving into our diary to prepare all of our events and exhibitions in order to make 2020 just as amazing as this one has been! Please follow us on social media or sign up to our monthly newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org to be the first to hear about all future highlights with us.
We would like to take this time to personally thank each and every one of you for your business with us this year and making 2019 as exceptional as it was - we really couldn't have done it all without you!
And of course, all of The Robertson Fine Art Team wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year and we really look forward to welcoming you back into our galleries in 2020!