Friday, 16 January 2015

RSW Preview

I was delighted to be able to go along to the RSW opening last night, and see my Summer Clouds, Eastbourne Pier painting in all its glory in one of the main rooms at the Royal Scottish Academy.

Here it is along with (l-r at bottom) David Smith, Joe Hargan and Glen Scouller's paintings.

It's always odd to come into a public place and see the paintings that you've made privately in your studio.  You know exactly how they're made and put together, so they have no secrets from you...and then to see them all framed up and looking great, and on the wall in a fine, grand's very strange.

Also, I normally only see my paintings at fairly close quarters in the studio. Bizarrely, I found last night that, when you can stand so far back from your work, and it's properly lit, it looks completely different.  Colours blend, contrasts and patterns are more obvious.  

When your own work is chosen to be hung in a gallery, having been endorsed by a committee, and curated with other work, it suddenly becomes transformed into something else - something you can view objectively rather than subjectively.

Having whoffled about my own modest contribution, can I just add that the RSW show is fantastic - lots of great paintings, well hung, beautifully lit,  in a wonderful space.  

You couldn't ask for more on a dreich January day.  So if you're in Edinburgh, please do go and see it.


  1. That's also the great joy when you buy a picture and get it home it can look entirely different and blended in with your other pictures or decoration it can be a delight! Looks a great exhibition.

  2. Hullo fellow Judith!

    Yes, you're quite right, paintings do seem entirely different in different situations, in different surroundings, and in different lights.

    Colour is perceived differently by the eye whether it is viewed under artificial or natural light, which is why I always paint under natural light only. Otherwise you think you've painted one thing, only to come back in daylight and find that the painting doesn't work in the way you thought it did at all!

    Putting a painting on a coloured background also changes it - big galleries and museums tend to go for bold colours such as blue (which helps you to see objects and colours more clearly - hence blue in reading rooms or for motorway road signs) or claret (which shows off all those lovely ornate gold frames of the old masters). Walls in houses these days tend to be of the 'neutral' variety, which can wash out a painting.

    Putting different objects, such as sculptures, beside a painting can bring out new aspects of both works, both in terms of aesthetic or meaning.

    As you say, half the pleasure of owning your own paintings is the ability to make them seems fresh and exciting and new by changing them round which your other favourite furnishings, objects and paintings. It's like curating your own art gallery or museum!