Meet the Artists
We represent artists from across Dumfries and Galloway. The creative talent throughout our region is rich and diverse, from painters to ceramicists, from land artists to performers. Our representation of these artists is made through displaying their work combined with our picture frame sampling.
Workshops by the artists often take place in the gallery and are open to the public to come and see and even take part in and get their hands dirty.
There are also opportunities for artists to book and use the space as an open residence studio.
For practicing artists who are actively selling their work we offer a discount scheme for our picture framing service.
Artists who are currently working with us
Use the picture or title below each picture to be taken to their page where you can learn more about them and browse and purchase their work.
Have you always thought of yourself as an artist?
I never had to choose which direction my life would take, I always felt that I was born to be creative, thankfully I was selected for art school, because otherwise I may well have gate-crashed and turned up every day even if I had not been offered a place. I remember at my art school interview being asked what my plan B was if I was unsuccessful. I didn’t have one, people often advise artists to have “something to fall back on” I have found that when life gets tough, I just make more and more art.
Val graduated from Edinburgh College of Art, 1985 with a Degree in Illustration & Graphic Design. She worked freelance thereafter (although largely while in full time employment) illustrating for DC Thomson magazines, including Jackie and Blue Jeans then Catch, where she had a monthly cartoon strip called Just Janey. A regular Spring Fling participant, she now mainly undertakes private commissions, drawing lovely homes and gardens in-between working as a Gallery Assistant at Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries.
Hugh Bryden is best known as a printmaker and publisher of poetry pamphlets and artists books but returned to painting at the start of the first Covid 19 lockdown in 2020.
His paintings, seen below, are small still life pieces that comprise favourite and sentimentally significant objects coupled with fruit and flowers mainly from his garden.
I have lived and worked in Dumfries and Galloway all my life. As a child I loved, and was encouraged to draw and paint. This interest continued beyond studying art and ceramics at school and college to study at summer schools at Glasgow art school, Leith art college, Bridge House art studio Ullapool.
I am child of Dumfries and Galloway and Scotland. I have lived, worked and retired here among the beautiful land and seascapes on my doorstep which continue to inspire my work. I allow myself to become immersed in nature, whether in my garden or on a walk round the lochs near my home. Colour and texture will grab my attention first; an autumn leaf, the sunlit hill in the distance, a reflection, the bark of a tree or an insect.
I flit from one thing to another; painting to printing to combining those, to sewing to ceramics. I tend to become engrossed in new techniques and processes playing for hours until I come to satisfying outcomes. My urge to learn and develop as an artist is never ending.
I have entered the creative world relatively late in life, having raised my family and fulfilled a career in the medical profession. Consequently I am soaking up all there is to learn of new skills and techniques while also endeavouring to look at the world and my place in it in a different way.
What inspires me is outside. It’s the big stuff; the mountains, the sea, the rocks, the rivers and glaciers. It’s the energy in the wind and the water. It’s the colour and flow of the seasons.
In my art work I am searching for ways to capture the emotion and spirit that these things stir in me. I confound myself however as I recognise in my process a drive to achieve control and balance rather than the spontaneity and freedom from restraint I feel I ought to strive for. I have explored a variety of media during my recent art college education, enjoying them all. However, I find that it is ceramics which enables me to work with my required discipline, while allowing the behaviour of the clay and its finish to give the work an energy which is often unexpected and fulfilling.
My ceramic practice is based on hand building techniques where I explore shape and texture with particular focus on the transitions between planes and contrasting surfaces. I am not yet friends with glaze and find that smoke firing my pieces enhances the form and gives them a visual warmth which invites touch as well as inspection.
Finlay Coupar spent most of his working life in Higher Education, as Art Lecturer (drawing, painting and printmaking), Head of Art Department, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Education, and finally as Director of Student Affairs; all at York St John University. Prior to that he worked briefly in schools, at the Scottish Council for Research in Education and at the Printmakers Workshop Edinburgh where he was also chair. Having retired to Galloway and living locally, he is now devoting most of his time to his art practice. He was educated at Edinburgh College of Art, where he graduated in drawing and painting and was awarded an Andrew Grant scholarship and at Edinburgh University where he gained an M.Ed.
He has exhibited widely in England and Scotland and his work has been purchased by The Scottish Arts Council, The Department of the Environment, The Western Infirmary Glasgow and Inverness Art Gallery and is held in private collections in the USA, Eire, UK and Germany.
“More recently my ideas have mutated in a number of different directions all using cut card relief: In ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’ (shown here) I was reflecting on the way debris gets blown to edges and I explore a compositional form reflecting this, where the focus is on the margins of the image and the centre is left relatively neutral. In ‘Barriers’ I use a single band of low relief to explore natural and man-made enclosures in the local environment. In ‘Discarded’ and ‘Specimen’ I returned to the notion of containment to explore the way that the elements could be imbued with a sense of preciousness. While finally in ‘Reliquaries’ this containment has been taken a stage further to reflect an implied significance to the trapped elements.”
Tom is a man of few words. He says; “My work is mainly based on the natural environment and I always work outdoors with some alla-prima in the studio. “
He is a prolific artist producing many works in a wide range of media, from simple watercolour studies, shown here, to more complex work using very mixed media. These works can often be quite dark, in both mood and colour, but not limited to using black.
Alison is our most local artist living and working just round the corner from the gallery.
She is a hand weaver making garments, wall hangings and other curious objects from yarn and hand made papers.
She creates her own yarns from wool, spinning in her attic studio space. The yarn is then dyed using naturally found colours direct from nature.
The yarns then once spun and dried are woven in her other attic studio space using one of three peddle weavers.
My printmaking practice evolved through a fascination with the woodblock printing traditions of Japan. I use tools, techniques and materials which are virtually unchanged from the Japanese printmaking processes that developed from the late 17th century onwards, including carving tools, cherry blocks, pigment powders and rice paste, handmade papers, and a Japanese burnishing tool (baren). My starting point for a design is often a photograph I’ve taken and digitally manipulated using image editing software, and by this approach I utilise a combination of both ancient and modern techniques to make prints. I see my printmaking not just as a means of mechanical reproduction, but as a way of creating a series of individual and handcrafted works of art.