Doodles in the margin from an artist living and working in the Scottish Borders.

Monday, 12 March 2012



A number of things came together to bring these paintings about. Firstly, Twitter contact Abigail Bosanko changed her avatar to this striking painting:

I'd never seen it before; it's called 'Pink Roses, Chinese Vase' by S.J. Peploe, one of the Scottish Colourists. Then we went up to Edinburgh to look at the Cadell cycle of their Scottish Colourists exhibition, and I got the chance to see this painting in the flesh. It's fantastic; it hangs in the far corner of the room and drags attention towards it. The draughtsmanship and the underlying geometry is so confident and solid, and the paint is put on in magnificent, thick, chunky slabs of colour - and what colour. It hums with life. It's also got something I find really exciting, that apparent ease and simplicity and confidence of a painter who really, really knows what they're doing.

The Cadell exhibition I was less keen on (a bit passionless) but again it was exciting to see big, vigorous paint strokes on big paintings that work right the way across a large room.

Then the Crossing Borders exhibition at Paxton House wanted some pieces that could 'hang together' so I thought I'd try to put together something of what I'd got from the gallery visits. Obviously it doesn't stand up to Peploe's work (you'll see how small and grudging I made his picture) but I think I've moved on with something, and that's always a good feeling.

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