Mountains to the Sea
12th August – 11th September 2017
John’s art education followed an apprenticeship style of training with the artist and teacher Robert Fraser. A borderer by birth, his love of the rugged and wilder country of Scotland’s north west saw him move to Skye in 1992 and it is this landscape which inspires his work. John now works from his studio at Roskhill, just south of Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye. John works in various media and likes to explore ways of applying paint and collage to create his interpretations of the elements that shape the Scottish landscape.
“I am committed to landscape painting. I feel that there are enough fascinating visual stimuli to keep me working away for the rest of my life, and even then, I will only have scratched the surface. What holds my interest is the fact that the landscape never stays still. Every aspect of this visual feast is ever changing before our eyes. The landscape of the north west of Scotland is where I live and work and it is here that I get the most feedback from walking and sketching.”
Clare ran her own successful gallery in the Highlands before “retiring” to concentrate on the development of her own work at her studio near Beauly, Inverness-shire. She originally studied textiles and painting with the Open College of the Arts and has won several accolades including the prestigious JD Fergusson Arts Award, presented in memory of the Scottish Colourist painter. She has been an invited artist at the Discerning Eye Exhibition in London. Clare has exhibited widely in Scotland and beyond.
“In the tradition of many Scottish painters, I am inspired by the physical qualities of oil paint and the endless possibilities it provides in terms of colour, movement and texture. My recent work continues to explore the patterns and spaces we see all around us in the ever-surprising weather, the rotating seasons, the abstraction of the landscape and the astonishing forces of nature.”
Dronma was born in Glasgow and studied at Laurel Bank, Glasgow School of Art and Jordanhill College of Education before becoming the Art Director of Glasgow Arts Centre. Her paintings have gained her a fine reputation amongst discerning buyers of contemporary Scottish Art, as a “New Scottish Colourist”. Her expressive landscapes may be wild and windswept, but they also gleam with an inner light. Her unusual name is her Tibetan Buddhist name, since becoming a Tibetan Buddhist in 1976.
“The atmosphere of place, which I find, heightens my senses, gives me a feeling of being in the “now” with the elemental forces, whether they are wild or calm. I respond not only to the outer scenes but have a sense of soul responding. I feel a kind of Celtic longing, responding to the moods of the sea, whether it is light dancing on still waters or the raging waves, and the wind driven on to the land. This inner response is reflected in my paintings with colour and movement, enhanced by the inner eye, as opposed to a photographic reproduction.”
Ken is a self-taught artist and has been painting full-time since the early 1990s. He lives in Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders but has a love of the rugged Scottish mountain landscapes and seascapes in the north west. Ken paints in a realistic style to depict the essence of what he has seen and experienced on his many research and hiking trips.
“I have been fascinated by the north west of Scotland since I was quite young. I love the wide-open vistas of highland beaches and lochs – and the even more spacious mountain summits. There is nothing quite like a clear day high up in the mountains. I am intrigued by the contrast between the transient nature of the light by which we perceive them, against their ageless solidity, and it is this static quality that I try to capture in my work. For me, it is important that the painting should convey a sense of the permanence of the underlying landscape even when shrouded in something as ephemeral as a blanket of snow.”
Kevin was born in Singapore as a Scottish expat and schooled at a college in South East Asia, where he excelled at art. Over his life he has travelled to (and painted in) many diverse places around the world. He is now based in Perthshire. Kevin’s paintings rediscover his early childhood perceptions of the treasures of the countryside, and re-engage with the childlike sense of awe and adventure.
“I now try to paint with the immediacy of those first perceptions, so that every painting is a new discovery of colour/colour mixture, tone, and composition. The technique is a vehicle to express those spontaneous bursts of emotion: joy, exhilaration, wonder, sublimity, appreciation of beauty etc. upon coming across a particular scene which impresses and captivates me. Each painting is a celebration of colour and emotion, woven in with a love of the Scottish landscape, themes and subjects. Ultimately, I want my art to be enjoyed, and to enrich people and spaces with fresh perception, enlivening colour, and ingenuity.”
Eileen is a painter and teacher. She divides her time between creating her own work and sharing her creative skills with others. In her early years her main interests were portraiture and life drawing and botanical flower painting. In recent years the most significant proportion of her output has been in pastel. Eileen is now regarded as one of the finest painters of contemporary seascapes. She explores her fascination with light and movement in water with many layered vibrant pastel paintings of dramatic seascapes and skies.
“Although attracted to a variety of subjects I have been increasingly fascinated by dramatic seascapes that have become a major focus of my work in recent years. Through these I seek to express the meeting between light and water. Over time I have worked in a wide range of media, but currently my principal medium is pastel. I find that pastel is perfect for rendering the layers of complex colour that are essential if one is to portray the depth and character of something that is so difficult to capture.”