From Muchty to Marrakech

The current Exhibition at Edinburgh’s Open Eye Gallery features bright and very colourful paintings by husband and wife artists, Charles MacQueen RSW, RGI and Christine Woodside RSW, RGI.

When you enter the Gallery’s lovely space, with the pictures displayed in facing rooms, the colours and subjects immediately capture the imagination. I was fortunate enough to meet both artists at the Private View and they were delightful conversationalists.

Charles and Christine married in 1995 in Italy but they had known each other for some time before that. Charles trained in art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee and Christine graduated from the College of Art in Aberdeen and taught for some years. They each won an impressive number of awards, including in Charles’s case, the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts Teachers’ Whisky Travel Award. Coincidentally, though at a different time, Christine was awarded a scholarship by the same body.

Currently, after a good deal of travel, they are based in Auchtermuchty and share a large studio. The only point of dissent seems to be the choice of music – Charles enjoying classical and Christine rather more modern.

Back to the paintings on display. Charles’ are all new and he seems to have a prolific output. Both of them have exhibited widely all over the country and have commissions from, for example the Bank of Scotland, The Royal Bank of Scotland and P & O Ferries.

Mirror AuchtermuchtyI particularly liked Christine’s ‘Carpet Alley’ her ‘Seaside Posy’ and ‘Mirror Auchtermuchty’, pictured left. She also has on display paintings incorporating her  favourite dogs, whippets! From Charles’ collection I loved ‘Souk Essioira’ and my other favourite is ‘Toy Shop Marrakech’, pictured above left.

The gallery has a policy of encouraging relatively young contemporary artists as well as featuring established ones. The works are reasonably priced and the Exhibition is a real treat. It runs until 8 October. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 10 am to 6pm and Saturday 10 am to 4 pm. Go if you can!

Their Telephone number is 0131 557 1020, email is

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Christine Richard OBE FRSA Christine has over 25 years' experience in public life in Scotland in the fields of politics, education, public relations and charity work. For 12 years she served on the City of Edinburgh District Council and was her Group's leader for 4 years. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1992 she was made an OBE. Christine is a member of the Board of The Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy. She has just completed six years on the Board of The Edinburgh International Festival. Christine's business experience has covered the fields of theatre, economic development, science, coal mining, education and training. She has held a number of non-executive directorships in these disciplines. She is a trained and experienced personal relationships counsellor and a business and personal mentor. In 2005 Christine established Christine Richard Associates who undertake Event Management and Public Relations as well as company and individual profiling. She coordinated the 'Yes to Edinburgh' campaign on congestion charging in Edinburgh. ten years ago Christine co-founded West Lothian Women in Business, which is a network for women who are self-employed and also for women managers. Christine has now stepped down from the Chair of this thriving organisation. For 5 years Christine was a magistrate in the District Court. She was also a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on the appointment of Justices of the Peace. She has been an adviser to Government in various areas of policy, including health, local government and education. Christine is a trained and experienced radio and television broadcaster and writer as well as an entertaining and accomplished speaker. She has a wealth of topics on which she is invited to speak. These range from witty after lunch and after dinner speaking to the more serious topics of the economy, health, education, enterprise, the Powers of the Mind and Life/work balance. She writes reviews and articles for lifestyle magazine, Lothian Life. She took part as a contestant in an ITV gourmet TV show, Chef V Britain, challenging TV chef Gino D'Acampo to cook her signature dish, Posh Cottage Pie. Currently Christine is a member of the Goodison Group in Scotland and Scotland's Futures. Also she is involved in the group Changing the Chemistry of Scottish Boards. Her first novel, Whitewalls, a modern Scottish family saga has been published by New Generation Publishing and is available on all internet books siets and from libraries. She is writing a sequel Autumn at Whitewalls. Her leisure interests include her family, literature, music, theatre, food, wine and horse racing. She is a member of a racing syndicate, which has two horses in training.

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