This will be Gregor Smith’s sixth solo exhibition with Compass Gallery. The work reflects Gregor’s deep-rooted quiet passion for the landscape around him and his superb mastery as an artist.
He has continued his travels drawing inspiration from his beloved home country of Scotland and visits to European countries- off-shore islands, sounds and bays, natural structures, seasonal weather and the play of light and dark are all reflected in his strong, evocative watercolours, oils and etchings. Most of the work for the exhibition was created during the past three challenging years.
“Winter weather is my preference regardless of location. The light may be clearer so the response may display more observed accuracy, whilst up above our skies reflect precipitation and turbulence. Our physical world appears distressed, and then vanishes only to reappear changed.”
Some of the work relates to Gregor revisiting familiar places as in ‘Red Head’, ‘Eday’, ‘Hoy’, ‘The Lynn of Lorne’ and ‘Pompeii’. His travels took him to more local and accessible landscapes seen in ‘Circumnavigating Arran’ and ‘Brief Glimpses of Interest’.
There are obvious influences but influences vary and may not all be visual, this reflects Gregor’s deep love of music. Sailing the Norwegian Coast from Kirkenes to Bergen and visiting Oslo several years ago, set in motion an interest in Norwegian painting as well as the changeable natural environment. Gregor enormously admires the work and ethos of William Daniell RA, as well as composers such as Anna Thorvalds Dottir and Rautavaara.
Gregor Smith studied Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art and graduated in 1966, following which he won post-graduate and travelling scholarships. His first of several solo shows in Compass Gallery was held in 1977 and he was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour in 1983. He is a Member of Glasgow Print Studio and has been a Featured Artist in 2014 and 2018.
He has shown in numerous solo and mixed exhibitions, won several awards and his work is held in extensive public and private collections. Selected exhibitions include: Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2011, 2018, 2022; Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition; Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour; Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, London; Scottish Arts Council, Edinburgh; Paisley Art Institute; Perth Art Gallery; Compass Gallery solo exhibitions in 1977, 1997, 2008, 2016, 2020, 2023. Gregor is a Selected Artist in the forthcoming Scottish Landscape Awards Exhibition, Edinburgh (November 2023-March 2024). Recent awards include the W Gordon Smith and Mrs Jay Gordon Smith Award, RSW Annual Exhibition 2019; RSW Prize for Watercolour to mark the 70th Birthday of the Patron, Prince and now King Charles III, 2018.