13 Sept 2010

Hestia loves...the Glasgow Boys (in numbers)

Old Willie - Guthrie
9.30 - the time of the ferry that we catch to the mainland

1st - outing to the mainland in the new car.  Indicators still giving me trouble.  Day Carer looks concerned, but not overly so.

£1 - cost of parking for 4 hours at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Muesum (surely we'll be round the exhibition in 4 hours.  SURELY?!

£5 the cost of a ticket to the Glasgow Boys Exhibition per head.  Not too eye-watering, plus rest of museum can be explored for FREE.

1880 - 1900 - the 20 year span of the exhibits

90,000 the number of people who have been to the exhibition since it opened.

90,000 the number of people who seemed to be standing in front of me to look at the paintings.

140 - the number of artworks in the exhibition - some are owned by the Gallery, some are from other public collections, but many are on loan from private homes.  Lucky, lucky bastards.

4 - the number of years it took to plan the exhibition.

90 - the number of minutes it took me to get round it.

2 - types of visitor:  The ones that stand in jaw-dropping admiration at the jewel-bright water colours, the polished sketches and whisper praise to their friends about the exquisitely rendered paintings and the others who bray to their friends loudly 'I could SO do that!'

£300,000 the money generated in ticket sales alone.  God knows how much the gift shop has brought in.  I alone spent over £20 on various bits of arty tat. So did my day carer.

£4 for an Aberdeen Angus burger with all the trimmings from the outside catering van thing.  Damned tasty!

a few - drops of rain while we gulped down our burger, fries and *cough* diet cokes

one sprained neck - trying to read the £15 guide book over the shoulder of the two ladies next to me at lunch (they were of the I could SO do that brigade)

2 - additional visits to the gallery shop whie I mithered about spending another tenner on the expensive guide book and exchanging my cheaper one.  I bought it.

1 - unparallelled delight at discovering the painting of the poppies (private collection) is in that book - even though it's a tiny little image, I absolutely adore it.

2 - despondent women sitting outside in the drizzle with their burgers, wondering whether it's worth  ever picking up a paintbrush or pencil again, faced with such massive talent from The Boys (that's me and the Day Carer)

4pm - the ferry that we caught home - relaxed, refreshed and ready to take up the brushes again, INSPIRED by, not the breath of God, but by Guthrie.

Want to know what I am getting so enthusiastic about?  We'll here's a couple of the best known paintings:

To Pastures New - James Guthrie

Japanese Lady - G Henry

The Druids bringing in the mistletoe

Yellow Roses - Stuart Park
And, to any reader who lives in London, you will be able to see this excellent exhibition later this year as it moves to the RA.


  1. Sounds fantastic - I really like the painting of Old Willie himself - looking forward to seeing it in London sometime soon

  2. See if you can spot Old Willie in a couple of the other Guthrie paintings!

    Honestly, it's one of the best exhibitions that I've been to and is set to become Kelvingrove's most popular art exhibition.

    If they can juuuuust scrape past the Van Gogh exhibition figures!

    Very poignant to realise that they were reviled by the RSA in Edinburgh because they were based in Glasgow and that the Glasgow Art Club also looked down their noses at them because they were jobbing artists....and here we are now, queuing to see their work!

  3. What gorgeous paintings I also like Willie but I love the Japanese lady and the Druids the colours are wonderful xx

  4. My favorite of the group is Edward Atkinson Hornel. His "Blue Flax" is just exquisite. Have you ever heard of the Ashington "Pitman Painters"? They have been rediscovered after a new play about thier lives has been showing to critical acclaim. My Dad is the last one alive, and I still remember visting the hut with him when I was wee. My memories are all in sepia, probably because they all wore brown and smoked like chimneys. He instilled a love of art in me that I cherish. Thanks for sharing yours Ali.

  5. I think I *have* heard of them. There was something about them on TV years ago, but honestly can't say I'm familiar with their work.

    Legend, you need to get your dad interviewed about that and blogged!

    There is a book available about them. Would your dad be up for autographing a book if I sent it down to him to sign, do you think?

    Ali x

  6. Dear Ali, it sounds like a fabulous day out. I shall certainly be checking it out at the RA. Love the Japanese lady. I'm sure there'll be plenty I like.

    Hope you're good xx

  7. Ali, I completely understand the awe that these paintings bring, because I feel it whenever I walk into a gallery. However, art is meant to inspire. You shouldn't think 'what's the point' you should think 'if I keep going I might be that good'(who's to say you aren't already?)

    James Paterson's work is one of the reasons I started to love reason art, and attempt to make my own. My papa's family were from Moniaive, and so I grew up looking at his pictures. The thing that's rare about his work is that what he created is so true to the place, and it's nature and atmosphere, and yet entirely in a style all of his own - We'd call it photorealism now, but it still has a touch of softness to it, it's wonderful.

    I shall stop rambling now.

  8. Oooh I want to see the poppies now. Have you got a link or a pic? This sounds a wonderful exhibition, trust me to be 6000ish miles away. Doh.

  9. Red - will need to scan the image in from the book. Technically challenging lol!

    LM - yep, I know. They DO inspire - but it's the gap between where *I* am and where I'd like to be that is the killer. Even their throwaway sketches were brilliant!

    Christina - Please do go (not that you have a lot of time to spare) but it is beautiful and marks the first exhibition that forms the new Special Relationship between Kelvingrove and the RA. Can only be good!

  10. Hi Ali, He would certainly love to sign the book. Does your email work? What is the best way to get info to you?
    I do have a story to tell. It's a bit long for a blog, but it includes the Archers and Bill Bryson. I'll take a stab at it.

  11. Looks like a fantastic exhibition.Love the Willy painting.
    Reading the comments I remember seeing something about the Ashington painters,seem to remember miners and I'm sure whippets?
    I might be wrong,interested to hear the story though!

  12. Oh fab can't wait for it at the RA - my dad will be going as ex Glasgow art school person and friend of RA - I always get in free then!!

    (PS thought of you the other day had my palms read on the spur of the moment)

  13. Mrs Make Do - palms are a mystery to me - I just stick to cards! Was it a good reading you had?

    NS - yes! Come on Legend, get your dad to tell us all!

  14. Hi from Shawlands! Just saw your comment about being shit at sewing on the Looking Fab in Your Forties blog and recognised a kindred spirit! The hem on one of my dresses fell down last night - posted about it on Facebook and one of my colleagues offered to take it in and wonderweb it - result! Dearie me, I'm 39 and can't fix a hem...! xx

  15. Looks fabulous Ali, I can spend hours in museums gazing at art, I am hoping to come to London soon so I hope I manage to catch it.

  16. Dash - I'm confident that you would LOVE it and would get a beautiful blog out of it! I do hope that you manage to catch it when you're over.

    WeShop - well hello fellow crap seamstress! Thank you so much for stopping by. Just been over to your site - lovely clothes :-D

    You're in Shawlands - have you been to the exhibition yet?!

    Ali x


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