We are delighted to welcome back Francis Boag to the gallery, with a group of seven landscape and still life paintings. Born in Dundee, Francis studied at Duncan of Jordanstone in the late sixties, where his tutors included Alberto Morrocco and David McClure. Francis’ mixed media technique and bold and striking palette choices have inspired many contemporary artists working in Scotland today. He works in thin layers of acrylic paint which are built up to create layers of incredibly vivid colour and depth with rough, collaged elements adding texture and a vibrant, unpredictable quality to his surfaces. This gem of a painting is of the view of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, a view that inspired Matisse and Dufy many years ago. Francis jokes that his own stays in Nice always end up with a view out to the car park, but the overall intent of the work is to give the same sense of ‘joie de vivre’ which is so evident in the paintings of the French artists!
Joe Hargan PAI PPAI is a master of colour and tongue in cheek humour. His paintings offer humorous and sometimes surreal vignettes, featuring Sniffy and various other characters within striking gallery and stately home settings. Recurring symbols and metaphors abound within the paintings, and one is often treated to a painting within a painting, an old master within a new master. The painting above,‘Two’s Company’, features a woman in the bath with Jasmine the Cat for company. Sniffy – the ever present butler and commentator figure within Joe’s work – has brought her a glass of wine and a slice of cake but he’s now standing to the side – a work of art perched on his own plinth – and perhaps trying to make himself scarce. Three’s a crowd after all! There are John Singer Sargents on the wall which work to create a striking composition, along with the sculptural arrangement of bright green Granny Smith apples in front of the bath.
Blythe Scott is a Scottish artist now based in Canada. The daughter of artists, Blythe graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1991 and she has built up a large following both in Scotland and throughout the world. Blythe is drawn to creating contrast, both in her colour choices and in her use of different textures – she enjoys creating crumbled sandy textures next to high gloss palette knife work or highlights of distressed metal leaf. Each painting is a unique creation, combining both modern and traditional techniques. The above painting of Edinburgh is a good example of the way in which Blythe starts with reality but then quickly takes the viewer beyond, creating a whimsical and dreamlike evocation of place. These are highly textured paintings that remand being seen in real life or via additional close up photos and videos!
A graduate of Glasgow School of Art, George Birrell has enjoyed a long career in teaching and now paints full time from his studio in East Lothian. When he was 15 George visited the villages of the East Neuk of Fife and he’s been fascinated by them ever since. These are villages with such a unique character, and one that contrasts strongly with some of the more dramatic and wild subjects of Scottish landscape paintings. George’s paintings are never of specific villages but they pull together the many elements – the architecture, alleyways, harbours and fishing creels – that are quintessentially East Neuk. The painting above is typical of George’s style and reflects his fascination with the shape and design of buildings and boats.
Jenny Matthews studied Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art, graduating in 1986. She has won 2 prizes at the Royal Watercolour Society in London and she was also shortlisted for the international watercolour prize ‘Marche d’Acqua’ in 2016. Known for her watercolours of flowers and plants, Jenny’s approach to the medium combines her interest in detailed work, with abstract effects created by water and pigments. Spontaneity and colour are characteristic of Jenny’s work, and the painting above – Blue Shutters, Île de Ré, France – is no exception. It is made even more striking because she has chosen to paint on black rather than white watercolour paper.
The exhibition can be viewed in the gallery from Saturday July the 3rd at 10am. The full exhibition will hang until Sunday the 18th, at which point sold works can be picked up or delivered. Available works from the exhibition can still be viewed until the 31st of July.