Who is Gordon Wilson?
Gordon Wilson is recognised as one of Scotland's most exciting and intriguing contemporary artists. Born in 1968, he grew up in Glasgow where he’s still based today.
He studied at The Glasgow School of Art and started out as a designer and picture framer but it was not long before his painting success led to him becoming a full-time professional artist.
Working from his Glasgow studio, Gordon paints a range of subject matter in his pieces, ranging from quirky portraiture to emotive land and seascapes, with his deep love of the West Coast of Scotland shining throughout.
A Day in the Life of Gordon Wilson
"I am truly blessed to earn my living as an artist, and although I would describe my studio as as 'organised chaos,' I am very regimented and disciplined around my work, treating it very much like any other job.
I work six days a week starting usually around 7.30am and do as full a day as my stamina will allow. Painting is mentally exhausting so by 3pm I’m usually spent!
When I arrive at the studio my routine is always the same - the kettle goes on, my Spotify playlist is selected for the day and off I go! I have a number of paintings on the go at one time, my mind is bursting with ideas for new paintings.
My days are essentially fuelled by gallons of herbal tea and extremely loud music. Music especially is important to me (I play the drums and performed in a few bands in my youth).
My musical tastes are eclectic and evoke so many memories, emotions and feelings all which help inspire me in my studio."
Not all my days are spent painting though – indeed there are days when I simply don’t feel ‘the urge’! These are not wasted days however…
I will invariably spend time priming my own canvas or board for the next commission or I will be in my framing workshop cutting mounts and assembling frames for a newly completed piece.
All my paintings are framed by me! There are other days where my wife, my dog and I will simply jump in the car and drive to somewhere beautiful…(These days I call ‘skiving’).
Gordon Wilson on the Spot...
Do you have a favourite painting that inspires you?
I’m inspired by so many it’s extremely hard to narrow down but “Old Willie:The Village Worthy” by James Guthrie is a painting I’m always drawn to when I visit The Kelvingrove Art Galleries...
Again it’s very hard to pin point one particular painter. The late Gordon Wyllie was a Scottish artist who greatly inspired me growing up. I also love the work of Sandy Murphy and own a lovely painting by him. Other artists I adore include Stanley Spencer and Lucian Freud.
“Self Portrait 1914” by Stanley Spencer. About twenty years ago I spent hours staring at it in The National Portrait Gallery in London. After a while I found myself alone in the gallery and seriously considered stealing it. Such was its immense impact on me...
Which artist past or present would you most like to meet?
Lucian Freud. Absolute genius. The end.
What advice would you give an aspiring young artist following in your steps?
It sounds extremely trite but simply follow your dreams. It’s important to paint to please yourself and not to second guess what you think the public or critics might want..
impossible to narrow down. But I’ve seen Primal Scream live dozens of times. My favourite album has to be Kraftwerk’s ‘Autobahn’. I first heard it in 1974 after my older brother saw them in concert in Glasgow and it kind of stuck! I listen to it regularly whilst painting. Years ago my brother and I managed to share a Guinness with them after a gig! That was a surreal experience.
Greatest indulgence in life?
My biggest indulgence is definitely purchasing paintings by artists I love and admire.
My first experience of earning money from art came when as an entrepreneurial teenager, I would sit in Glasgow’s busy Argyle Street drawing caricatures for passing shoppers. I would only charge £1 per sketch but on a good day (usually a Saturday) I could take home as much as £50! I would love to say I invested this money wisely but in reality I invariably blew it on Tennents Lager and vinyl records…
Favourite or most inspirational place?
Sipping a cold beer watching the sunset from the town wall in Pienza,Tuscany. Or sitting by a fire on Bamburgh beach watching the seals play out at sea. I’d be just as happy in either place...
Favourite place to eat and favourite drink?
I love ‘Number 16’ or ‘The Partick Duck Club’ in Glasgow’s West End. If I venture into town ‘Café Gandolfi’ is hard to beat! And a Hendricks Gin and Fever Tree tonic. Thank you. Cheers!
What is your dream project?
My dream project would be to own and convert an old farm which I could live in. I would convert the massive barn so that I could have my art studio and a place to play my drums as loudly as I wanted.
Finally, what wouldn't you do without?
My family,my art and my music (all in equal measure)
...and a roof over my head would be nice