Artist Alexander Millar – what inspires him to paint?

December 29, 2009 on 6:37 pm | In Alexander Millar, Figurative Art, Pencil/Graphite Art, Scottish Artists, Sculptures | 1 Comment

A number of weeks we wrote a blog about newly published artist George Somerville and compared his work to that of Alexander Millar’s, today the blog will focus on Alexander.

Young at Heart by Alexander Millar

A professional artist for some 21 years, Alexander Millar was born and raised in a small mining village in 1960 near Glasgow called Springside & in his own words it felt more like growing up in the 1940s than the 1960s! He spent a lot of his youth around the older generation of Scots: men dressed in dark suits, smoking pipes, and burly women in aprons and headscarves.

His dad worked for British Rail & as a child accompanying him to work, Alexander gained more inspiration for his future paintings as he found the old Railway stations to be very Romantic. Of course the architecture of these stations would have been nostalgic & a throw back to Scotland’s industrial past – this influence is seen throughout Alex’s paintings.

My Family & Other Animals by Alexander Millar

Moving to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne after finishing school aged 16, he tried several jobs before becoming a professional artist in 1988. He claims that it was quite a culture shock to move from the sleepy village he grew up in, to the hustle and bustle of the city, as you can imagine! But the city also had its own share of ‘Gadgies’ – (a northern Scottish term for an older generation man) to inspire his paintings.

Fuelled by his extensive Childhood memories, he had a huge source of inspiration to work from, what is more astonishing is that Alexander is a self taught artist, which is an amazing achievement for any commercial artist.

Keepy Uppy sculpture by Alexander Millar



1960s Scotland

Artist George Somerville: A Glaswegian Kiss Anyone?

December 1, 2009 on 9:39 pm | In Contemporary Art, George Somerville, Humour, New Releases, Scottish Artists, Sculptures | No Comments

George Somerville was born in Glasgow and is a self-taught artist, as his family couldn’t afford to send him to art college despite his obvious talent from a young age. He began his career by painting pictures of community groups and factories of different types, as he felt that they reflected his childhood, growing up in 1950’s Glasgow. However, he soon realised that his work was changing and no longer had the industrial backgrounds of his early work, and the characters were becoming more prominent.

Have a look a couple of his new pieces…

An Unexpected Gust (original painting) by George Somerville

Brrr! looks chilly! just like British weather-especially Scottish weather!

Street Party (limited edition print) by George Somerville

Something that rarely happens these days, a street party!!

Somerville has also released some sculptures of his work, and here is an example of how it looks:

Blown Away (sculpture) by George Somerville

George Somerville’s work reminds me a lot of Alexander Millar’s work, in that they both have a similar style, painting older working-class gentlemen: ‘Gadgies,’ often sideways or with their backs to the viewer. As well as this, they both have a style where the background is hazy or blurry with no detail. They also both often feature a dog in the pictures with their main characters.

I would love to hear from you if you agree or disagree, which artist you prefer or any comments and opinions you would like to post about George Somerville!!

Thanks for reading,


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Northern Art Prize (Competition)
Northern Art prize 2009 finalists announced

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