John Wilson – Naive UK artist? We think he paints extraordinarily clever art!

February 12, 2010 on 7:40 pm | In 3D Art, John Wilson, Naive Art, Sculptures | No Comments

John Wilson is best known for his unique take on art; painting childlike pictures of people, set in places such as art galleries or on a street full of shops & astoundingly in the background he often paints realistic miniatures of old art masters.

It would be easy to dismiss his paintings at first glance as just ‘childish’ or ‘so easy anyone could do them’ but you must scrutinize them to appreciate the true genius behind them.

‘The Lowry’ limited edition print by John Wilson

Using bright colours which accentuate the naivety of parts of his art is his trademark & preferring slightly more subdued colours in many of his backgrounds. I find it amazing how he blends the aforementioned ‘art masterpieces’ and integrates them into his backgrounds, which often makes people do a double-take & demands several views to appreciate – it’s so subtle that in some instances you totally overlook they are even there!

‘A Day In Provence’ limited edition print by John Wilson

John Wilson also makes 3D wall sculptures, which look brilliant because, firstly they are so boldly shaped & because the finished product often contains optical illusions within them – with the figures & objects moving as you view the piece from different angles.

In the 3D piece ‘Mind Games’ it’s as though you are looking down several corridors in an art gallery and the characters appear to move before your eyes!. It is ‘mind’ boggling how he is able to achieve this unique finish.

‘Mind Games’ limited edition wall sculpture by John Wilson
(seen from 2 angles)

John also released two sculptures featuring the child-like figures within his paintings. Named ‘Boisterous Boys’ and ‘Gorgeous Girls,’ they are brightly coloured & vivid recreations, as though they have stepped off the canvas! I find it exciting to see his characters brought to life in sculpture, they immediately make you smile and think of your own childhood or perhaps your first painting lesson?

‘Boisterous Boy’ limited edition sculpture by John Wilson

The artist also paints in a yet another very different style. Using more ‘reserved’ colouring, he paints towns & streets with houses & concrete pavements but normally with beautiful blue or yellow skies & a splash of colour on some of the houses! They are much more non-descript in comparison to his other naive art but wonderful in their own right – ‘Underneath The Arches’ & ‘Timeless Town’ are 2 such pieces that spring to mind.

‘The Corner Shop’ limited edition print by John Wilson

It is interesting to juxtapose the artist’s two very distinct & almost opposing styles & the two mediums: paintings & sculptures; perhaps as a result, this is why he has such a large fan base. I believe his second style (see ‘The Corner Shop’ above) shares certain similarities with Paul Horton’s artwork, because they paint similar people & houses in similar styles in similar colours but both amazingly uplifting images as well.

Thank you


3D Sculptures
Naive Art Movement
Discussion on naive art

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,


Useful Links:


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

Artist Doug Hyde Has A ‘Surprise’ In Store For Christmas!

November 25, 2009 on 9:06 pm | In Doug Hyde, Naive Art, New Releases, Sculptures | No Comments

Newly released ‘Surprise’ is a wee bit cheekier but nonetheless cuter than Doug Hyde’s usual limited edition pieces, as his pastel drawn character is wrapped up in a bow and nothing else as far as I can see! Surely a great crimbo pressie for a partner or that special Christmas gift for a family member?

(Surprise, limited edition print by Doug Hyde)

A bit short on detail perhaps, his little character never even wears shoes & I bet he has cold feet. Also there’s not much facial features about him either but I fell this endears the audience to the little character’s face, wondering what has made him so happy & proud to be the latest gift!

Amazingly, these sold out within under a week of them being released to UK galleries, truly Doug Hyde continues to be an art phenomena & long may it last 🙂

(Surprise, limited edition sculpture by Doug Hyde)

thank you



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