Tag Archives: Scotland

Christmas Exhibition

Alan Reed

Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

Our Christmas Exhibition starts on the weekend of the 4th and 5th November 2017. The scene above of Grey Street on a bleak winter’s day in Newcastle is this years Christmas Card and is also available as an original watercolour.

The Christmas Exhibition also includes many new original watercolours and oil paintings which I’ve been working on over the last 12 months in between painting commissions. Local scenes are featured together with works inspired by our Painting Holidays in Italy. Tranquil olive groves and picturesque hilltop towns are always a delight to capture on location in my sketchbook. Then it’s a trip down memory lane in the studio as I reflect on the holiday and develop these studies into more finished paintings.

I’ve also managed to squeeze in some new cityscapes of London and and beach scenes on the island of Tiree in Scotland.

There are a number of new limited edition prints also being showcased for the first time so it promises to be a busy weekend.

Our Christmas Exhibition will continue until Saturday 23rd December 2017.


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Christmas Exhibition

Alan Reed

Mont Blanc & Manganese Blue


Christmas Exhibition starts Saturday 5th November with Fresh Coffee and Mince Pies.

Christmas Exhibition starts Saturday 5th November with Fresh Coffee and Mince Pies.

Click HERE for more information.


2016 has been busy and eventful year. It began with my watercolour “Mont Blanc and Manganese Blue” being selected for the Royal Watercolour Society‘s Competition in January. It is a painting inspired by a very memorable trip to Chamonix in the summer of 2015 when I was able to produce a number of sketchbook studies of the stunning scenery. My Mont Blanc painting forms part of this years Christmas Exhibition.

Alan Reed

Last Light, Ruwi, Oman

Much of this year has been spent working on commissions, including another 4 large landscapes for a client in Oman. Two of the commissions were oil paintings of mountain wadis. Continuing on the mountain theme is “Last Light, Ruwi, Oman” a painting which I was shortlisted for “Artist of the Year”. This watercolour is also on show for my Christmas Exhibition.

My connections with Scotland remain as strong as ever so I have several new original paintings on display featuring Edinburgh, Eigg and Rhum, Crail, Pittenweem and North Berwick.

You can also browse through my extensive collection of limited edition prints of Scotland at our Christmas Exhibition.

Italy has also been on our radar throughout 2016. In May and June we took guests out to Umbria for the painting holidays which we organise. We also took day trips to Arezzo and Anghiari in Tuscany so that the guests could have experience in painting these picturesque hill top towns steeped in history. Our week for June 2017 is already fully booked but we are taking expressions of interest for future painting holidays.

We returned in August for another trip where we experienced the tremors of the tragic earthquake which left many dead and homes destroyed. A reminder of the fragility of life.

I’ve also had the good fortune of working on several more painting commissions of Italy including 2 of the Colosseum. See some of my new works of Italy this Christmas Exhibition.

Alan Reed

Theatre Royal in the Rain

Of course, Newcastle and Northumberland features heavily for my Christmas Exhibition so there will be some new works for you to see on the run up to Christmas.

My Christmas Exhibition starts on Saturday 5th November. It runs Tuesday to Saturday 9:30 – 5pm right up until Christmas Eve on the 24th so you will have plenty of time to buy that special present for your loved one.




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Gullane Gallery

Alan Reed

Crail, Coming Home

For the last three years I’ve been exhibiting my paintings at the Gullane Gallery, East Lothian. I’ve been invited again to show a selection of new works as part of their easter exhibition starting 12th March.

For over 20 years I’ve enjoyed painting in Scotland so for this exhibition I decided to revisit some of the fishing villages that I’ve painted in the past along the East Neuk of Fife. The weather has been dreadful over the winter months which hindered my plans right up until early February when I was finally able to travel with the promise of sunny weather.

I managed to visit three of the fishing villages which I have painted before and have published as limited edition prints, Pittenweem, Anstruther and Crail.

Even though it was sunny, it was still very cold but I was still able to do a sketchbook watercolour at each one of the harbours. The one of Crail was painted from a high vantage point looking into the low winter sun.

Alan Reed

Sketchbook Watercolour of Crail

For the larger studio painting I tried to keep the palette as simple as the sketch and the brush marks as lively, however I couldn’t resist adding some of the details found in the nearby buildings which overlook the picturesque harbour.

The exhibition at the Gullane Gallery will also feature another painting of Crail as well as paintings of Pittenweem, North Berwick and Edinburgh. The exhibition continues until 3rd April 2016.

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City Church Portraits

Sight Size Painting

Oil Painting Portrait of Sola Idowu

Over the last 12 months I have been working on a painting project for City Church Newcastle which meets at the CastleGate, Melbourne Street, Newcastle.

In the summer of 2013 I was approached by Ed Morrow (who manages the CastleGate) asking my advice about what kind of artwork would look good in the new atrium which would reflect the vision of the church.

My wife Susan and I have been members of City Church since it’s beginning. Our vision is that we will be a church of thousands, a community full of people from every nation. My suggestion was that I painted a number of portraits of church members of different ages, races and stages of life that represented the church family.

I started the first one in October 2013 with several sittings of Adrian Smith. The Portraits have been painted in oils on aluminium panels for Health and Safety reasons. They have to be prepared first with emery paper then primed using an Etch Primer. I then paint several coats of an oil paint primer before tinting each panel to a neutral tint. It’s at that point I can begin a series of sittings, painting from life.

I have used photography as an aid to make sure that the proportions are correct. With the exception of the children I’ve painted 90% of the painting work is from life, painting from observation.

Most of my 30 year professional career has been spent painting landscapes, cityscapes and seascapes in watercolour throughout the North East, Scotland, UK, Italy and the Middle East. I’ve learned many years ago when to finish a painting in watercolour, the danger of overworking it being a real possibility. Once you overdo it, there’s no going back with watercolour!

With oil painting, it’s quite different. You can always see little details to fiddle on with to keep trying to improve the portrait. If you make a mistake, you simply correct it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to painting so I needed a justifiable reason to stop each portrait. All christians are a work in progress, none of us will achieve perfection until the day we are united with Jesus Christ. I’ve deliberately decided to have some of the portraits “unfinished”. This is a random choice and not any reflection on anyone’s spirituality!

The plan at this point in time is to have a launch later on in the autumn when the portraits will be hung in the atrium to coincide with a “Vision Sunday” for the church.

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Film Maker & Photographer David Peat Dies


Launceston Place

Launceston Place

Susan and I were saddened to hear of the death of David Peat on 16th April after a long battle with Myeloma. I had the privilege of working with David back in the autumn of 2001 on a television idea my brother and I had. We decided to make a short pilot video of the idea and some friends of ours recommended David whom they had known closely for many years.

Part of the idea was to show the cooking ability of my brother Philip, so it was decided that David and I would meet up at the restaurant where Philip worked as the head chef, the Launceston Place Restaurant, Kensington in London. The other part of the idea was to show my watercolour painting skills, so I was to be filmed outside painting the street scene, including the restaurant.

Philip and I had no experience working to camera but David demonstrated his award winning talent as a film maker right from the start. He quickly took stock of the scenario and came up with some great camera angles to capture me painting which made it a lot more interesting than watching paint dry. The way he filmed Philip cooking was equally impressive and although I say it myself, the pilot came out really well. We never managed to get it seen by the right people and eleven years on, I don’t think that British television needs another cookery programme.

Here is the section that David Peat filmed of me painting.


To see the full pilot of Philip cooking and me painting, follow the link below.


To find out more about David Peat, take a look at his website davidpeatphoto.com     Also there are also touching obituaries to David which elaborate more on his career in Herald ScotlandBBC News Scotland.

Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends at this time of deep loss.




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Eigg and Rhum Sunset

Eigg & Rhum Sunset

Eigg & Rhum Sunset

The West Coast of Scotland has some of the finest scenery in the world. I’ve only been a handful of times but I’ve always been inspired to paint on location, whatever the weather. In 1998 we decided to take the long drive from Edinburgh to Mallaig for a long weekend. The weather was typical for September, rain. Glencoe was suppressed by low lying clouds but by the time we hit Glenfinnan Viaduct where I did a sketchbook watercolour, the weather began to break and the sun came out.

We checked into a small bed and breakfast in Mallaig and went in search for the white sandy beach of Camusdarach where the film Local Hero was shot. As we climbed over the dunes which hid the beach from the road, we saw a breathtaking view. As the sun was dipping below the islands of Eigg and Rhum we could hear the sound of the waves breaking softly onto the beach whilst a young lady sitting on the sand played a Celtic melody. It was a magical moment which Susan and I will never forget. I took some photographs before the light disappeared but it was too late to do any painting.

The next morning, after a hearty Scottish breakfast, I returned to the same spot to do a couple of watercolours which I was able to refer to so that I could do the studio painting titled Eigg and Rhum Sunset, which is available as a limited edition print both online and at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.


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Melville Street, Edinburgh

Melville Street, Edinburgh

Melville Street, Edinburgh

This limited edition print of Melville street, Edinburgh is dominated by the distinctive outline of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. Its central spire of 270 feet punctuates the skyline of this street scene of Edinburgh’s New Town.

The figures, each one preoccupied with their own tasks, are an integral part of this watercolour. One can see different aspects of city life being played out through these people. The young woman in the foreground is fumbling about in her bag for something, the office worker is barely breaking his stride to post something in a hurry and an older man is clearly feeling the strain of heavy shopping bags in contrast to the pace of the other gentleman who has overtaken him. His only burden is his jacket thrown casually over his shoulder. Further down the street, another man is resting against a lamppost whilst waiting for somebody.

These paintings of Edinburgh remind me of the study notes of Proverbs Chapter 1 verses 20-21 in the NIV version of the Bible where wisdom speaks out through the centre of life in the city, where man’s communal experience of the creation order is concentrated. One can also read in chapter 8 of Proverbs how wisdom personified was with God at the beginning of creation.

You can see further examples of life in Edinburgh by visiting my studio and gallery in Ponteland or the section on Scotland on my website.

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In June 2008 I organised a charity exhibition at the Castlegate, (the venue of City Church, Newcastle) Melbourne Street, Newcastle upon Tyne to help raise money for three local charities, OWN IT, Open Door and Aquila Way.

The exhibition, titled “Faith, Hope and Charity” was a great success and earlier this year, Richard Davies from OWN IT asked if I would be interested in putting on another exhibition of my paintings as OWN IT will be effected by proposed government cutbacks.

OWN IT was established in 1997 with the work of Richard Davies MBE at Walbottle Campus. It is a unique work experience programme for 14 – 16 year olds who are recommended to the charity by senior members of school staff.

They ask each student “If you could leave school on Friday and start work on Monday, what is it more than anything else in the world that you want to do?”

By focusing on the first choice of each student, OWN IT aims to make their dreams come true and want to take them seriously.

The exhibition preview will start in the evening on the 4th of July. It will continue every day 10am-5pm until Saturday 9th July and will feature a broad selection of my work including new watercolours of Newcastle, Italy, Scotland and the Middle East. If you would like to receive an invitation to the preview, then please contact me on 01661 871 800 or email alan@alanreed.com.

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