Complementary Contrasts at the Smithy Gallery

Award-winning artists Angus McEwan and Jenny Matthews are exhibiting together for the first time at the Smithy Gallery, Blanefield, near Glasgow, in ‘Complementary Contrasts’, which opened on Sunday 6th August.

The exhibition will include Angus’s photo-realist paintings of weathered buildings and Jenny’s colourful flowers.

Jenny Matthews, who trained under Dame Elizabeth Blackadder at Edinburgh College of Art, said: “When I tell people I work in watercolour, I can see them thinking, ‘I know what watercolour is, it’s probably small and a bit twee. They don’t expect the strong colours, the big scale. I quite enjoy surprising people.”

Angus McEwan, who has taught masterclasses on watercolour in the UK, Russia and China, said: “I find watercolour really versatile. I can get the crisp quality I want with detail, I can get a richness and depth by building up layers.

“I have been using watercolour exclusively for nearly 10 years now. I keep returning to this incredible medium even though it is considered by some as a lesser way of working. This exhibition will demonstrate that there is a lot more to watercolour than many people think.”

Both artists have been internationally recognised for their work. McEwan has been a finalist three times in the ‘International Artist Magazine’ competition, won second prize in the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition and first prize in the International Prize ‘Marche d’Acqua’ Fabriano, Italy. He has also won awards for his work in San Diego, Greece and Malaysia.

Matthews has been selected for the international watercolour competition, the 4th Biennial Marche d’Acqua in Fabriano, Italy, and for the watercolour festival, the Salon International de l’Aquarelle 2016, in Saint-Yrieix-La-Perche in France. She has won two prizes in recent years at the Royal Watercolour Society in London.

Matthews said: “We are both enthusiasts about the medium of watercolour, that’s how we became friends, but we work in very different ways. I’m drawn to natural, living subjects, and Angus to man-made, time-worn subjects.”

McEwan added: “We are both willing to experiment and go beyond the expected norms of the medium. The title ‘Complementary Contrasts’ sums up nicely the differences in our work, and the common ground.”

‘Complementary Contrasts’ continues at the Smithy Gallery, Glasgow until 3 September 2017.

Angus McEwan, Natural Selection


Jenny, Matthews Not Awake Yet


Angus McEwan, Simpler Times

Angus McEwanthe, Calm Within


Jenny Matthews, Looking Upwards


Feature Image Jenny Matthews, Transition

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