Media Release: Leading UK artist is top draw in Borders schools art event

BORDERS school pupils could win the opportunity for a personal art lesson from one of the UK’s best selling painters.

breeze art gallery in Peebles are hosting the Borders Schools Art competition to mark an appearance at the gallery by Gillian McDonald.

The competition is open to pupils of all ages studying at any Borders schools. Six finalists, three each from primary and high school, will receive a one hour teaching lesson from the artist and the winner from each age group will win a signed limited edition print.

Acclaimed as one of the countries most popular print selling artists, Gillian is known for her haunting portrayals of the west coast of Scotland and the Highlands and Islands.

She will use her visit to the breeze on Saturday, October 20, to sketch in the historic Borders town and surrounding area and those drawings will form the basis for a new collection for 2008.

Her work is sought by collectors throughout the world and in a Fine Art Trade Guild survey of UK galleries to find the top ten living artists, she was voted second only to Jack Vettriano in popularity and sales.

Her decision to appear at the breeze gallery and to feature the Scottish Borders in her work is a major coup for gallery owner, Bob Corsie.

Mr Corsie said: “It’s a wonderful honour to welcome Gillian to Peebles and we are delighted she is going to feature the area so prominently in her 2008 collection.

“She is extremely popular and renowned for her paintings of the Scottish Highlands and some of the remotest parts of the British Isles. Prior to our exhibition of limited edition prints and some of her originals, she is planning to sketch at a number of locations in and around Peebles and the Borders and some of those sketches will feature in her new water colours collection.”

The Borders Schools Art competition is aimed at encouraging youngsters to think about art and the environment in which they live. Entries from schools and individual pupils should be sent to the gallery by Wednesday October 16. All painting entries can be collected from the gallery following the event.

Bob Corsie added: “Gillian had kindly agreed to judge our schools competition and to give the winners a one hour tutorial. It’s a fantastic prize for any aspiring young artist and we hope local schools and individual pupils will jump at the chance to learn from one of the UK’s most respected artists.”

The judging will take place on Friday October 21 and the winners will be selected the following day in the breeze gallery.

He added: “Gillian does not do many appearances and therefore to attract an artist of her stature to Peebles is a wonderful sign that Scottish art lovers and collectors are being treated seriously. There will be an outstanding collection of limited edition prints and originals on display and we are sure her fans from the Borders and further afield will attend the event.”

Gillian said she was looking forward to adding Borders water colours to her portfolio. She said: “I don’t know why I have never painted the Borders, especially as it’s truly one of the most stunning parts of Scotland. I’ve have only passed through on my way further north but following Bob’s request to visit Peebles it’s going to be a pleasure capturing Borders scenes loved by so many.”

The event takes place on Saturday, October 20. There will be a private breakfast preview from 10am until noon and then the gallery will be open to the public from noon-3pm.

For further details or to reserve a place at the breakfast preview please contact the gallery at or 01721 721684.

The breeze gallery is open Mon-Sat 10-5pm and Sun 11-4pm.


Note to Editors:

breeze Art Gallery was founded by Mandy and Bob Corsie in October 2005 and is located at 88 High Street, Peebles, EH45 8AN.

breeze represents around 80 artists and has access to approximately 3,500 pieces at any given time.

For further information on Breeze Art Gallery visit:

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