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  • Writer's pictureBeth Wardell

Northumberland Artists Selected for Prestigious Exhibition

We were delighted to receive news from Luke McTaggart, that himself and another local artist, have had their work selected for the upcoming Annual Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour. A huge accolade for both artists and we want to celebrate this by sharing the following post with you.




‘Evening Light, View Across Gardens’, 2023, Gouache on Paper, 23x19cm. Artist: Luke McTaggart. (Image Credit: Courtesy The Artist).


Two Artists from the area are celebrating after having work selected for a prestigious exhibition.


Painters Gillian Lee-Smith from Widdrington and Luke McTaggart from Amble, were pleased to learn that they had had work selected for the upcoming Annual Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour.

The exhibition, held at the Royal Scottish Academy galleries located on Princes Street in Edinburgh, is a yearly exhibition showcasing work from members of the RSW, as well as a number of paintings selected by Open Submission.


Gillian Lee Smith’s evocative mixed-media piece is inspired by the grounds of Belsay Hall located in the county:


‘I discovered the beautiful Belsay house, castle and quarry in 2021 and have been back many times. I sketch each time I am there and have become fascinated by the trees atop the quarry walls and the roots that have broken through the rock below.’

Indeed this isn’t the first time her piece has been the recipient of acclaim, the same painting was awarded first-prize at the 2023 iteration of the Annual Woodhorn Museum Open Exhibition.


Luke McTaggart’s piece is a smaller work on paper, painted using gouache, an opaque form of watercolour paint. His piece depicts a subject much closer to home – quite literally. The painting depicts the view from the artists bedroom window.

‘I really just like to paint the things I have to hand, things that are by no means spectacular in a conventional sense, but that are special to me for their closeness, views I see everyday and that form part of my visual experience. I am very influenced by the French post-impressionist painters and the piece was inspired by the garden paintings of Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard’. - Luke McTaggart



‘Roots Break Rock (Quarry Trees at Belsay)’, 2023, Mixed Media on Paper, 56x76cm. Artist: Gillian Lee Smith. (Image Credit: Colin Davison Photography).


The exhibition will be located at the Royal Scottish Academy, The Mound, Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL.

It runs from Saturday 13th January 2024 until Saturday 6th February 2024, the galleries are open each day from 10am to 5pm.


Full details can be found on the RSW and RSA websites.


Artists Details:


Gillian Lee Smith Website

Instagram: gillianleesmithartist | FB: Gillian Lee Smith Artist | X/Twitter: @GillianLeeSmith


Luke McTaggart Website

Instagram: lukemctaggart02 | FB: Luke McTaggart Paintings | X/Twitter: @Luke_McTaggart

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