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Cath Ray Gallery & Studios

‘Themes & Variations’ Paintings By Neil McGregor.

Cath Ray Gallery & Studios, 58b Bridgegate, Retford, DN22 7UZ. 9 Mar - 27 Apr
 |  Made  |  Galleries & Museums

Neil McGregor’s life as an artist started when he was very young and he has drawn and painted for as long as he can remember. He was inspired by childhood visits to the New Walk Museum in Leicester where he would sit and draw the stuffed animals on display.


“It wasn’t until I was coming to the end of my time at school that I vividly remember seeing a reproduction of the Degas painting ‘Singer with a Glove’, which lives at the Fogg Museum at Harvard University. Enthused by that painting, and being pretty awful at everything else, I decided that it might be a good idea to go to art school”.

Neil embarked on a Foundation Course in Doncaster and was lucky enough to be taught by some wonderful tutors who made him realise that art was not something to be dabbled with but was a life-long commitment. Later at Norwich School of Art, tutors like Edward Middleditch and John Lessore reinforced the idea that to be an artist was a sincere undertaking.

It was during his time at Norwich that he started to form an approach to creating images that has remained relatively unchanged for the past 40 years. Neil works in the studio from drawings done in front of the subject matter and (like his childhood hero, Degas) he quite often creates a number of paintings of the same subject, playing around with the composition and arrangement of colours.

Neil’s figures are full of life and movement and his years of study of the human form show in his work. In the past he has taught Drawing and Painting and run life drawing classes alongside his career in Museums & Galleries. Gallery owner, Cath Ray says: “I first came across Neil’s work when we taught together at Doncaster College many years ago and have always admired his bold approach to the figure and painting. When he was Artist In Residence with the Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra, he produced a large body of work that we were able to exhibit at The Harley Gallery in Welbeck. During the show the orchestra performed a concert in the gallery, surrounded by Neil’s large-scale paintings. It was amazing to see art and real life come together in such a beautiful way. I’ve been a big fan of his work ever since!”

His current painting still revolves around the figure, with paintings of family and friends, “with the occasional foray into landscape when I am on holiday.”

This exhibition is a must for those who love oil painting and visitors can expect to see a broad approach with both large-scale work and smaller paintings and drawings.

“My paintings are about ideas, but perhaps more importantly they are about the beauty of the visual world, a beauty that can often be found in the most mundane of places and situations.”

The exhibition runs until 27 Apr and there will be an eight-week Watercolour course taught by resident artist, Cath Ray. Neil McGregor will also be running a workshop on Fri 12 Apr from 10am-2.30pm and visitors to the gallery will also be able to meet him and discuss his work at a Meet the Artist event on Sat 20 Apr from 1-3pm.

All Neil’s proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to The Dog’s Trust, The Samaritans, and Cancer Research.

For more information contact Cath at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 0780 3204424
The gallery is open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm (closes at 2pm on Tues).