Gregory D Mitchell


It would be nice to believe the following conversation between Rembrandt Van Rijn and his Doctor Joannis Van Loon took place as recorded. It opens an invaluable window on the purpose of drawing from life and the meaning of painting, to say nothing about the works of Rembrandt himself.

“You always impressed me as an intelligent person, Doctor," he said, "and those little sketches which you have shown me are quite nice. You may not have learned as much as some of the boys who went to art school, but the Lord was good to you at birth and you started out with a whole lot more than any of those poor devils will ever get, no matter how hard they work. And yet, here you are, forty years old, or even more, and you have never yet discovered what all truly intelligent people have known since the beginning of time.”
“And that is?” I asked him.
“That nothing counts in this world except the inner spirit of things.”
“Meaning the immortal soul of man?”
“Meaning the immortal soul of everything that was ever created.”
“The immortal soul of tables and chairs and cats and dogs and houses and ships?”
“Just so.”
“And the immortal soul of books and scissors and flowers and clouds?”
I was silent for a while. Then I looked at this strange man with the tired eyes and the tired droop of the strong unwieldy shoulders.
“How many people in all the world will be able to understand that?”
He smiled and lifted up both hands in a gesture of resignation. Then he answered me slowly: “Well, perhaps three or four in every hundred. At the most, four. In very exceptional cases, five.”
“And the others?”
“They will never know what we are talking about, but they will have their revenge.”
“In what way?”
“They will let us starve to death.”

The Life and Times of Rembrandt Van Rijn, Hendrik Van Loon, 1930


New Work: 4 Local Artists
2014: Group Show, Maspie House Gallery, Falkland, Fife

Art on Tap: Recent Drawings
2014: Solo show, Captain’s Bar, South College Street, Edinburgh

Naked: Drawings from Life
2014: Solo show, Regent Bar, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Festival Pop-Up Show
2013: Group show, EDS Gallery, Great King Street, Edinburgh

New Painting and Drawing
2005: Troyka Group show, The Village, Edinburgh

Stealth: New Painting, Drawing and Mixed Media
2004: Troyka Group show, 134 Pitt Street, Edinburgh

New Work
2004: Festival Group show, Red Door Gallery, Edinburgh

WASPS Life Drawing Group
2001: 5th Annual Exhibition, Patriothall Gallery, Edinburgh

Sale: New Work and Blue Friends
1995: Blue Cowboys Group show, Blue Cowboy Gallery, Bigg Market, Newcastle

A Case of Kunst
1995: Blue Cowboys Group show, Café Jo Jo, Berlin

Spot the Difference
1994: Blue Cowboys Group show, Blue Cowboy Gallery, Bigg Market, Newcastle

St Nicholas Day Massacre
1993: Blue Cowboys Group show, Blue Cowboy Gallery, Westgate Rd, Newcastle

New Graduates
1993: Group Graduate show, 369 Gallery, Cowgate, Edinburgh

New Art
1993: Group Graduate show, Clayton Gallery, Jesmond, Newcastle

BA Hons Fine Art Degree Show 1993
1993: Group Graduate show, University of Northumbria, Newcastle

Images of Ireland
1990: Group show, Tyneside Irish Centre, Gallowgate, Newcastle

Art for Youth
1990: Group show, Ormeau Centre, Belfast, Northern Ireland

NWAA Annual Exhibition
1989: Group show, Old Shirt Factory, Derry, Northern Ireland

Foundation Show 1988
1988: Group show, Manchester Polytechnic, Manchester


1993: BA Hons Fine Art (Painting and Drawing)
University of Ulster at Belfast
University of Northumbria at Newcastle

1988: Foundation in Visual Studies
Manchester Polytechnic

1966: Born, Edinburgh