Room With A Wiew: Exhibition in Ardross
An exhibition of new paintings by four Highland artists
3rd – 5th June: Ardross Hall, near Alness
CLARE BLOIS — FIONA MATHESON — CHRISTINE O’KEEFFE — KATHERINE SUTHERLAND
We are looking forward to showing you our new paintings in the lovely setting of Ardross Hall. This website is in progress and will shortly provide you with full information and images. Meanwhile please put the dates in your diary and invite your friends!
We are four established artists who all exhibit regularly in the Highlands and beyond. We have our own individual styles but we feel that our work fits together well, linked by the common theme of Highland landscape, seascape and the extraordinary and exciting natural world around us.
“My relationship with the Scottish landscape is
deep-rooted. Generations of farmers in Aberdeen-Shire and crofters in the Highlands have been instrumental in my responses to it.
There have to be elements of surprise as each canvas reveals itself. My work is varied in scale from postcard size pieces to larger works measuring around 5ft.
Landscape takes the main stage. Colour dominates. Texture will intrigue as materials work unpredictably. Bringing all the formal elements together I draw on the land, bring the islands and seascapes together and focus on the seasons. To contrast the snow and the sand, to record the evidence of man and his habitats. A deserted croft or a working harbour. An empty beach a looming storm. Painting is an addiction, creating is a love and sharing the final outcome with the audience is compelling.
Christine O’Keeffe is a professional watercolourist and teacher working from her croft house near Tain. She has always worked in the field of art and design but has specialised in large bold and loose watercolour paintings of the landscape for the past eighteen years. Christine has exhibited in and around Inverness, Perth, Edinburgh and London and her work has found its way to many parts of the world. Her work is distinctive in style and she employs some unusual techniques using masking fluid and big brushes.
“Watercolour painting should be fun. It may be irritating and frustrating but it should be enjoyable. It is not a nice pale hobby for me – it is an exciting vibrant battle in which I am pleased to engage on a daily basis. I quote a fellow painter who, in the foreword to his exhibition catalogue, wrote “Painting is like making love – if it is calm and relaxing then you are doing it wrong”.
Clare Blois is an oil painter working from her studio near Beauly. She studied textiles and painting with the Open College of the Arts and has won several awards including the prestigious JD Fergusson Arts Award, presented in memory of the Scottish Colourist painter. The powerful landscapes of the highlands and west coast are enduring themes in Clare’s work, which is exhibited in galleries in Scotland and beyond.
“In the tradition of many Scottish painters, I am inspired by the physical properties of oil paint and the endless possibilities it provides in terms of colour, movement and texture. My recent work explores the colour, pattern and space which is all around us, and aims for spontaneity and an element of abstraction. The ever-surprising weather, the rotating seasons and the strength of the highland landscape all continue to astonish.”
I live and work in the Highlands where I am fascinated by and grateful for the endless visual inspiration I receive everyday on my doorstep.
I like to use direct simple brushstrokes in my painting and use exciting colour palettes to produce ‘truthful paintings’ which really get to the heart or essence of a place and how I respond to it emotionally. I do not restrict myself to one medium and like to be inspired by other artists, photographers and designers, believing that cross-pollination can make very interesting outcomes.
My influences include the Scottish Colourists, Tom Thomson, Duncan Shanks, David Bomberg and Peter Prendergast. I admire their use of strong brushwork and composition along with a great personal reverence of nature.