Artist of the Month: June

Busy times at Limelight! We’re very excited to be involved with the Tron Theatre‘s summer production ‘Cannibal Women of Mars‘. With a script by Gordon Davidson and Alan Wilkinson and music composed by BAFTA-winner Mick Cooke of Belle and Sebastian it’s going to be a whole lot of fun. More info about it (and you can book tickets!) here.

Meanwhile, it’s another month and another artist is featured in our gallery space. Step forward, Terry Murphy!

Terry Murphy

Welcome to Limelight Terry. First, tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Terry Murphy and I come from the small mining town of Blantyre. I recently graduated from the university of Sunderland with a degree in illustration and design. I freelance in fine art commissions and graphic work ranging from magazines to corporate logos and book covers.

The Magdalene 1

The Magdalene 1

What inspired you to become an artist?

From a very young age I had a thing for drawing and making things. I used to make cars out of my mothers rollers and cigarette and matchboxes as a 3-4 year old. I was born with a talent and my first real recognition of other similar talent came from comics like the Beano and Oor Wullie which I tried to emulate, sometimes quite successfully. From there my cousins’ older comics like MAD and Heavy Metal introduced me to guys like Mort Drucker, Moebius and Milo Minara and at school my art teachers opened up a huge new world of art with the impressionists and surrealists being my particular favourites, with Klimt, Van Gogh, Picasso, Ernst, Magritte, Bacon and the sculpture of Henry Moore to name but a tiny few.

How would you describe your work?

My work is whatever mood I wake up in, and in many ways what dreams I may remember from the night before. I may start a work to be something specific, then a mistake here, a line out there, the mind takes it in a very different direction and i go with that flow. I can be working on a photo-montage one day, a fine art traditional portrait the next day, a sculpture another day or just draw whats inside my head and work from there. I leave it to others to describe what it is.

The Magdalene 2

The Magdalene 2

What are your preferred materials?

My preferred materials are literally whatever I have to hand. Being a ‘poor artist’ I have learned to work with what I have and that could be anything from a pencil to an egg box. Materials are only a means to an end in art, it is the imagination which fuels the work and teaches you that anything can be used to make art if your mind, eye and hands are in tune. Right now I love to use mixed media techniques, magazines, paint, glue, wallpaper paste to do photo-montage and collage.

Broken Queen

Broken Queen

I’ve noticed iconic musicians feature in some of your work. If you could meet just one, who would it be and why?

If I was able to meet one person in my life it would be John Lennon… and why? Well, first of all the Beatles‘ music inspired me from a very early age, listening to my parents 45’s (that’s old singles for the kids – ha ha) and from there I developed an interest in John, his sense of humour, his artistic temperament and eventually his political and social awareness. I believe he was very misunderstood as a man and misrepresented by the media and I felt I had a lot in common with him in many ways.



In your career so far, have you learned any lessons that you could pass on to other artists?

As a late starter I have learned what I believe to be the two most important lessons for an artist. One: Do not wait, do not think you have all the time in the world as you do as a young man because that time will fly by so fast you wont know whats hit you and if you wanna be any good you have to use that time wisely. Two: Do it, don’t sit around thinking this and that. Just start working, get whatever materials you have, sit down or stand up and just go for it. Some of the best work I have ever done has come from this philosophy and as the mighty Yoda says ‘Do or do not, there is no try‘.



What have you got planned next?

My future plans are to develop my skills further…learn new ones as i go, there is no retirement in art and you learn consistently if you apply yourself to your discipline. I hope to be a success with my work whether that be on a personal level or as a working artist making a living in what i love to do and as i believe i am doing these things there is no better way to live.

Thanks for coming in Terry!

Thank you to Limelight Studios for allowing me to show my work and I wish all the artists before and after me every success.

My Own Personal Jesus - Hot off the easel and premiering at Limelight!

My Own Personal Jesus – Hot off the easel and premiering at Limelight!

Terry’s work is on display throughout the month in the window gallery at Limelight Studios, 73-77 Trongate.

You can see more of his work on his Facebook page, contact him directly by phone at 07826224576/01698769138, email for purchase enquiries or to commission work. 

If you are interested in a month’s free display contact us at

Artist of the Month: May

This month’s artist is Jamie Irvine. We caught up with him for a chat.

Welcome to Limelight Studios Jamie. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Thanks for having me. I’m originally from Central Fife but am now based in Glasgow. I studied Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art.

Ghost in the Machine

How would you describe your work?

Contemporary surrealism, dealing with consciousness exploration, the limits of perception, the unknown, transcendental other-world, third eye mythology, cosmic horror, psychonautics and other preoccupations.

The Noosphere

What or who inspired you to become an artist?

Drawing was always something I had to do rather than wanted to do. I suppose my high school art teacher was my first influence. She exposed me to H.R Giger, whom I borrowed a lot from in early works. His use of the flesh and metal, the organic and the mechanical was something that really struck a cord. And something I came back to later with a series of drawings exploring the body as a machine. I guess my major influence was my 2nd year University tutor and now very good friend Norman Shaw. He is an incredible visual artist and was instrumental in my creative development. He also introduced me to the surrealist Hans Bellmer.


Which themes attract you?

A lot of the ideas and motif’s I attach to my work are in retrospect. So, I don’t sit down and say “Okay, i’m going to draw X because I’m really interesting in Y”. It’s a lot more free flowing than that. Like I said, I draw because I have to. Of course, projects like the one that’s up in the Limelight Studio does have an over arching concept behind it, that being, ‘The Anxiety of Consciousness’.

In a lot of ways it’s about the internal unknown. The ‘I think, therefore I am’ phrase, coined by Descartes, doesn’t quite cut it for me and so the drawings are a visual discussion into the possible existence of a soul. Also touching on the shadow aspect and the Mind-body problem.

Evette Horizon

How has your work changed over time?

My works changed a lot over the last 12 months or so. Previously it had been very organic in its creation. Intuitive tones and shapes along with automatic mark making. For this group of works, It now falls under the category of realism and representation, with an overall tighter application.

Cosmic Dawn

Cosmic Dawn

What lessons have you learned so far in your career?

I thought, coming out of art school, that things would just sort of happen. I would get shows and I would sell work and possibly even make a living out of it. It’s a lot more complex than that. I’ve learnt that things move a lot slower than I would like. Applications for funding, proposals, opportunities. There’s a lot of quite time between shows and for me it’s about keeping motivated.

Future Fortune

What are your aims for the future?

I’m hoping to show my full ”The Anxiety of Consciousness’ project in a space then hopefully secure funding in order to complete a long awaited project with a friend and collaborator of mine. I have enjoyed this recent project but am looking forward to something less intense.

Jamie’s work is on display throughout this month in the window gallery at Limelight Studios, 73-77 Trongate. You can also see more of his work at his blog.

If you are interested in a month’s free display contact us at

Artist of the Month: April

Janice Hamilton is a freelance photographer and visual artist, living in the leafy West End of Glasgow with her three cats. We had a chat with her over a coffee.

Welcome to Limelight Studios Janice. How would you describe your style?

Gothic expressionism with a touch of spiritual other-worldliness.

Beauty Bleeds Through Darkness

Where does your inspiration come from?

Sometimes it comes from my feelings, such as one entitled ‘Til All The Sadness Has Gone’, which is a sad, sleeping face. I also wrote a song for that one. Then there is ‘Plough’; again expressing a tough period. A flame-haired skeletal woman with a bloody scythe; symbolic for ploughing hearts out. I was going through a difficult relationship at the time that just wasn’t right but couldn’t seem to end it and felt dead inside.

Til All The Sadness Has Gone

Other artworks like ‘Minerva’, the black-eyed being with the tall hat and balloon, is inspired by a poem, ‘Lady Weeping at the Crossroads’ by Auden, which James Grant (Love and Money) put music to. I have drawn her after she has seen herself at last and left the castle. She is wiser after having penetrated the false heart (representative of egoic fears in my opinion) but has a childlike nature to her – hence the balloon. I am very influenced by Gothic imagery. The people in my artworks I see as other-worldly, spiritual beings. Some wise and some childlike – they just come to me. I usually start off with an eye, not knowing what is going to come. I love to contrast black with very bright colours. I mainly use pastels as I just love blending the colours into swirls and their brightness. I am presently writing a fairy tale for adults based on my pastel drawings entitled ‘Raven and the Tall Hats’.


How has your work developed over time?

I’m  not really sure. I have always loved the black out-lines contrasted with bright colours and that has pretty much remained the same. I have been doing more of the beings with the Tall Hats, so my artwork may be focusing more on these beings, possibly aspects I’ve found in my childlike and higher self. 

Lantern & Forest

Are there any artists you especially relate to?

Oh yes. I love Munch. I was already drawing hard black outlines and vivid colours before I had really looked into him, then I bought a book of his work from a wee second-hand book shop on Great Western Road and loved it. This was about the same time I drew ‘Minerva’. I also like Van Gogh and Hanna Frank – she does Gothic ink drawings – my favourite of which is ‘Night Forms’. I love Edward Hopper too: He doesn’t really influence my artwork but I just love him, especially his use of light and that sometimes strange and lonely feeling to his artwork. Other styles of art I appreciate are Art Nouveau, Expressionism and the Pre-Raphaelites.

You’re also a photographer. Which is your preferred medium and why?

I was on a photography course doing landscapes for a couple of years. I have also been photographing Gothic models in the studio and I have decided to make them my main subject as it is what I am interested in. You can visit my photo blog at I love the beings I create in my drawings but guess I prefer photography, as it is, well, it may seem more instant, but there is a lot of preparation involved in setting up a scene and arranging the models; backgrounds, clothing, poses, etc. Then there’s the editing afterwards, but I really enjoy creating a scene, photographing and editing it. I guess I am more confident with photography. Rather than staring a a blank piece of paper and being afraid to make a mistake. Yeah, I’m afraid I’m a bit of a perfectionist.


Do you have any advice for other artists?

The only advice I have is to express what you feel and always follow your intuition, your passion and your heart – and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do what you love.

Janice’s work is on display throughout this month in the window gallery at Limelight Studios, 73-77 Trongate.

There has been a fantastic reaction from the public since we began our gallery space project. If you are interested in a month’s free display in our window space drop us a line on

Artist of the Month: March

As part of our commitment to supporting the wider artistic community, Limelight Studios recently converted our ground floor windows into a gallery space, giving local artists a month’s free display at our prominent city centre location.

Pamela Louise McDonald is our featured artist for March. We caught up with her for a chat.

Welcome to Limelight Studios. What’s your background?

I’m a Glasgow based artist and illustrator. I started off studying fashion but decided this was not a world I wanted to work in and did some travelling before coming back to do illustration at Glasgow College of Building and Printing. I’m now doing community art workshops across the city while producing a wide range of freelance and commissioned material as well as working on my own projects.

When did you decide you wanted to become an artist?

Do you ‘decide’ you want to be an artist, or is it just something you do whatever? I always doodled and scribbled from an early age but to begin with I wasn’t that committed to studying art as such. I was more interested in other subjects and other things to be honest! But then I realised that I never really stopped doing it, even if I hadn’t ‘decided’ it would necessarily be my job. Then with getting involved in the workshops suddenly it was (and is) my job and something I do outside of my day job as well.

Green Eye

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Probably people are my main inspiration, although maybe more so the stories they inhabit and create for themselves That’s why imagination and imaginary characters and scenarios play a big part in my imagery I don’t mean that I’m a ‘serious’ figurative painter in the fine art sense, they’re more of a jumping off point although it’s fun to do portraits too. Because I’m interested in stories and imagination I find films can be great to fire up some ideas and dreams can always supply some exotic ways of looking at things or give you ideas that might be unlikely to form on a rainy afternoon in Glasgow.

How would you describe your style to someone who hadn’t seen it?

I tend towards a hand drawn and painted illustrative and graphic approach. The ‘style’ can depend on what effect I’m aiming at and I think not being a fine artist gives me a certain freedom to hop around different styles depending on what’s appropriate. I’ve absorbed some of the trademark look of Japanese manga and certain elements of fantasy art from animation, film, comics and graphic novels.
Fairy Splash

Which is your preferred medium and why?

Pen and ink is the most usual way to get something going for me. It’s immediate and it’s versatile. That would often be the way I start something so that I can create a reasonably fully formed image while it’s still fresh in my mind since I probably work from imagination the majority of the time. At that point I might work in acrylic or watercolours to get some more depth and obviously add colour. Either that or I would work something out with the pen and then make a painted image from the original drawing.

How has your work developed over time?

Well I suppose the most obvious way is the change from it being a recreational way of passing some time to it actually being a job. Doing workshops means I need to experiment with all sorts of media and ideas to keep people interested so some of that helps me to get out of my comfort zone and suggests new possibilities. Some of my illustration is done to a brief so I have to think creatively within that which is a different skill for me because I was always used to just doing whatever I liked and finishing it or not depending on how I felt about it. So maybe there’s been a bit of a change from out and out imaginary flights of fancy doodled on whatever paper was available to actually doing something more considered with an end result in mind. Am I talking about discipline? Maybe that’s what it is, I get more done anyway!


As an artist, can it be hard to find display space for your work?

In a way it can be easier to have a forum for your work when you do illustration because it can go on t-shirts, posters, cards, signs and so on. Although thinking about that I suppose that’s true about any art, even if it’s less true for certain kinds of work, and some artists might be less comfortable with some of these In terms of actual exhibition space that can be pretty difficult unless you can talk a cafe or someone like that into letting you decorate their wallspace. Galleries will always want their commission and that means you have to sell your work at a price that reflects that. That’s not necessarily possible when you’re not selling eighteen foot canvasses for five figure sums. What Limelight is doing is a fantastic opportunity just to show some work off with no strings attached for the artists. I suppose the trade off is that you get a constantly refreshed decoration and talking point for your space but I certainly appreciate the gesture!

Are there any artists you especially relate to?

It can depend what I’m up to and I’m not afraid to take inspiration from all sorts of sources but I certainly went through a phase of obsession with H. R. Giger when I was younger. I love to draw the female form and some of that may have originally come from Giger’s depictions. Another artist I’ve been influenced by more recently is Audrey Kawasaki who also has a feminine focus and I really like the way she fuses Art Nouveau motifs and a kind of manga style.

Most Faithfully

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

Try to stick to creating what you love and keep that fresh by always being ready to try a new way of being creative. Don’t expect to get rich but there are ways to do this as a job, you often need to find what your way is though, there’s no career path or security. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong, part of the whole point of being an artist is to explore different ways of doing things, in art and in life.

Where would you like your work to take you in the future?

Right now I’m quite happy making things for what is a relatively small audience and sharing skills and ideas with the people I meet through workshops but (perhaps like any artist if they’re honest with themselves) I’d like to reach as many people as I could. I would like to create images that would be recognisable to anyone as my own style.

Pamela’s work is on display at Limelight Studios for the duration of the month. You can see more of her art on her website Pam’s Parlour