Listed in alphabetical order
My paintings are sketches and ideas. I love the unfinished. A painting feels dead if I plan it too much and it is often the spontaneous pieces that have nothing to do with what I was trying to do that seem to be the most successful.
With this collection I had pretty much run out of paint and canvas. I never believe that life will allow me to continue to be an artist so I threw caution to the wind and enjoyed myself with what I had. The result are these paintings andI love them.
Amber Leaman 2016
A pristine, new white canvas hanging on the wall is inspiring. Its shape, size and emptiness offers so many possibilities. I play with cut out papers, sketch ideas on scraps of paper and finally attack it. However, the first steps are often painted out but the process has begun.
One gale filled day, I found all the plants in the garden bent double and the newly formed flowers either burnt or their petals sent flying. Entering the studio, I realised that the floor was strewn with a mass of brightly coloured tissue paper – torn shapes that I had experimented with, some of which were loosely stuck on a canvas and I realised that it looked similar to the devastation happening outside. A good start and a thread of an idea was formed.
Its often something glimpsed, remembered or doodled that sparks a beginning. I look for form, simple marks, repetitive rhythms, space and ultimately, balance and power. My palette can change drastically, from loud bold colour to more muted tones. This maybe the result of my mood, the mood of the season, but more often it is a desire for change and a need to shock of renewal.
When my work is stuck and not quite right, I have to wait to accept this and turn the painting to the wall. It is only much later, when I see the painting with new eyes, that I can take a brush and white wash a lot of work away, allowing me to be more spontaneous and keep the painting alive.
Amber is the queen of spontaneity. Each brush stroke is as fresh as the day it was painted, as if she has just put it there. Even as a child, she was my best critic. “You don’t need that mark” or “ You need a dark colour over there”. She was always right!
Bridget Leaman 2016
Hamish MacDonald was born in Glasgow in 1935. He studied at Glasgow School of Art between 1963 and 1967. From 1968 he successfully combined painting with teaching and also guest lectured throughout Scotland.
In 1991 he retired from his post as an Art Department Principal to concentrate fully on the development of his painting. His artistic influence is drawn from a diversity of sources including the Impressionists and the Scottish Colourists together with perhaps most noticeably the works of Gillies and Eardley.
His broad, fluid style and bold palette place him directly within the continuing lineage of the Scottish Colourist tradition whilst his ability to capture the atmosphere and vitality of his subject is enhanced by a confident and mature style. Hamish is now widely regarded as one of Scotland’s most successful contemporary artists.
Since 1963, Hamish has staged numerous solo exhibitions in Scotland and participated in group shows with prominent galleries in London and throughout the UK.
His works can be found in many major collections, including HRH The Duke of Edinburgh; Kelvingrove Art Gallery; Paisley Art Gallery; Burmah Oil Company and several UK Education Authorities and Regional Councils. His awards include: National Prizewinner Laing Competition (1989) and RGI Royal College of Physicians Award (1993). His work is also well represented as cards, and his limited edition prints are now enthusiastically collected.
Though diverse and varied in his artistic influences, David Martin’s signature style is striking in its originality, clarity and beauty, culminating in work that makes him one of the twentieth century’s most important Scottish painters. Born in 1922, Martin trained at the Glasgow School of Art, working with prominent artists such as Hugh Adam Crawford, Ian Fleming and David Donaldson, all of whom had a strong bearing on his development as a landscape and still life painter.
Originally interested in portraiture, Martin moved on to the sparsely populated Scottish landscapes and strong, pure still life that he is known for, via his interest in textile design taught by the Scottish designer Robert Stewart.Working with Stewart a few years after graduating from the Glasgow School of Art, Martin used his time with the designer to develop his technique as a painter, simplifying and emboldening his portrayal of objects and landscapes, yet maintaining the elegance and visual appeal that is so crucial to the aesthetic success of design work. Such was Martin’s active understanding of this technique, that a textile design of his was selected to be exhibited at the Design Centre, Glasgow by the city’s Arts Council in 1949.
Upon examination, the visual influence of textile design and material is indeed apparent in Martin’s work; the strength of line giving a fabric-like quality to the painting, as if the canvas is swathed in a thick, layered blanket of bright colours and bold patterning. Simultaneously, lighter and more delicate brushwork flickers across the surface of the canvas, adding depth and bridging the gap between abstraction and realism that is inherent to Martin’s aesthetic direction. ‘My work is ultimately based upon what I see, but I extract its abstract qualities and use them to my own ends,’ he says, citing the work of Henri Hayden and Graham Sutherland as important predecessors of this method. Actively drawing out abstraction from landscapes and still life adds a layer of poignant emotional connection to the subject, subtly removed as it is from the physical reality. This technique also echoes that of Cubism, an approach that Martin interweaves with his own perception to put his personal interpretation upon it.
Martin’s still life retains its Cubist feel in its flat, stark, simplification of forms; we are encouraged to notice not the objects themselves but their assembly into something beautiful and whole. Contrastingly, subject matter for such unpredictable landscapes as Scotland’s is sketched and photographed on location, and developed in the studio, allowing Martin to process and transform these everyday settings, though splendid in their own right, into stunning scenes that articulate his appreciation of them.
Rosie Willmot, Lemon Street Gallery 2011
Daphne McClure was born in Helston, Cornwall in 1931. She trained at Redruth Art School, Hornsey School of Art and The Central School of Art and Design in London. During her time in London she worked as a costume designer for the Royal Opera House for five years before retuning to Cornwall in 1976.
In 1976, along with her husband George and their two children Tom and Emma, McClure settled in Porthleven – a small picturesque village on Cornwall’s south coast, which, after taking an aerial view of the harbour, remained a constant source of inspiration for her for almost ten years.
In 1988 McClure moved to a small holding on Tregonning Hill, near Helston, where her new surroundings further influenced her colour palette: her use of sea blues, changing to the more muted tones of sienna, ochre and brown as she began to paint in series – Hayle Estuary, Godrevy Lighthouse, St.Ives and Levant Mine. The Levant Mine series was exhibited with Jonathan Clarke, London in 1994. In 1995 Tate St. Ives commissioned McClure to paint a work for its inaugural exhibition and in 2004 she was the invited Artist in Residence at the prestigious Josef Albers Foundation, Connecticut, USA.
McClure now lives and works in Penzance. She is widely known for her beautifully naïve depictions of life in Cornwall, drawing on its artistic heritage and its working fishing ports.
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