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Impressions of Dundee: Chance to meet artist Graham Wands at Gallery Q

Tickety Boos. Dundee by Graham Wands.
Tickety Boos. Dundee by Graham Wands.

A feature exhibition by one of Gallery Q’s regular artists, Graham Wands, features instantly recognisable views of Dundee city centre, the Tay bridges and imagined historic views.

However, Impressions of Dundee, which opened on January 29, also features Graham’s instantly recognisable style.

His great skill with watercolours enables him to bring wonderful atmosphere to all of his paintings which adds a romanticism to an ordinary street.

Graham wasn’t able to be at the gallery on the exhibition’s opening day, January 29.

Graham Wands.

However, there will be an opportunity to meet him on Saturday February 5 from noon until 2pm.

Who is Graham Wands?

Born in Irvine, Ayrshire in 1959, Graham cannot remember a time he didn’t draw or paint.

He moved to the Borders and taught art in the local community and exhibited in local galleries.

He moved to Perthshire in 1995 and now works from a studio in Alyth from where he takes workshops and demonstrates watercolour techniques as well as preparing his own work for exhibition.

Graham says: “In my cityscapes of Dundee I wanted to capture moments in time.

“A fleeting glance of the surrounding before the scene moves on.

Dundee Shopping by Graham Wands.

“The people, the traffic, the sounds etc, all clamour together to create a vision of place and time.

“I don’t want too much detail in my paintings, but prefer broad, bold strokes to tell the story.

“With watercolour I can use the unpredictability of the medium to create atmosphere through vigorous brush strokes and an impressionistic style, while still painting a recognisable representation of the subject.”

Watercolour paper

Graham paints on a heavy grade of watercolour paper which means he doesn’t have to stretch the paper before he starts painting.

He uses tubes of watercolour paint in a limited palette, sometimes using the paint straight from the tube itself.

Market Stalls. Dundee, by Graham Wands.

“All in all, watercolour affords a wonderful sense of freedom when painting I haven’t been able to find in any other medium, and is why I love it,” he adds.

Other artists

Alongside Graham, Gallery Q is exhibiting work by John Paul Raine.

Born in 1948, he dropped out of Leeds School of Art in 1967 and after many interesting life experiences enrolled at the age of 38 as a mature student at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen.

He lectured in painting and drawing for two years at Aberdeen College, and then on an ad hoc basis in the life drawing class at Gray’s.

Raine has recently retired from 10 years teaching art at a Folk High School in Denmark and is now enjoying a very productive period of painting at his home on Deeside.

The Silvery Tay & Bridge by Graham Wands.

There’s also work by Jackie Cartwright who lives in Monifeith.

She is an artist with a passion for wildlife, life drawing and portraiture.

On leaving school, she started her working life with DC Thomson & Co. Ltd. in the illustration department.

She left after 10 years of experience, as a commercial illustrator, to bring up her family.

In 1995, she attended Dundee College, in order to regain her confidence, after being away from art for so long. Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design was to follow.

There, she studied Fine Art (Drawing and Painting) and graduated with a BA (Hons) Degree in 2000.

From 2000 – 2011 she taught Art, Design and Life Drawing at Dundee College and Abertay University, respectively. She now has a studio of her own.

Looking Towards Tay Rail Bridge by Graham Wands.

The gallery also features work by Glasgow-born Frank To, who studied at the University of Huddersfield and then Duncan of Jordanstone Art College in Dundee.

He won an enviable reputation for himself as a contemporary figurative painter, having  established a loyal following, including a number of high profile buyers such as Star Trek legend, Patrick Stewart who now owns several of Frank’s paintings.

Frank is currently having great success with gunpowder as a medium.

Gallery Q exhibition

Gallery Q also features work by Peter Davis, Catriona Millar, Fiona Sturrock, Helen Welsh and James Potter.

They are also welcoming ceramic sculptor Sandra Wallace to the gallery for the first time.

The gallery also has their usual selection of glass, ceramics and jewellery gifts plus greetings cards.

The exhibition ends on February 19.

All work can be seen online at