Scottish artist Georgina McMaster is known for her striking paintings of animals, birds and insects, capturing the spirit of the animal in the softness of their fur and the wetness of their noses. A graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, at college Georgina focused on figurative painting, but after graduating was drawn back to her love of animals, and it was her paintings of hares that won her a number of prizes early on in her career. In 2007 Georgina was included in the Royal Glasgow Institute’s (RGI) First-Time Exhibitor show, where she won the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow Award, following this up a year later with the David Cargill Award. Since then she has exhibited wGeorgina’s work can now be found in collections throughout the world.
Seeing animals in their natural habitat is what Georgina strives for, and her love of travel has taken her around the world on research trips, photographing and sketching animals in close quarters. It is the texture of animal hide – the feathers, the fur – that inspires Georgina. Trying to paint fur in a way that makes one want to reach out and touch it, without ever appearing photographic, is both the joy and the challenge of painting, and Georgina’s paintings have real presence, the character of each animal standing forth against a plain white or linen background.
This new solo exhibition of Georgina’s work is based primarily on her recent visit to the Kenyan Masai Mara, alongside paintings of animals and insects from closer to home. Georgina is a champion of conservation and environmental issues, and in addition to visiting some of her favourite large animals in their natural habitat, Georgina had the opportunity to learn about the work being done locally to protect the animals, and the environmental challenges that the human and animal communities are facing.