I’m attracted to colour and the way an artist chooses to apply their paint to canvas or board. I also enjoy looking closely at the brushwork: to see what I can discern about the personality and presence of the artist. By contrast, soft tints, photographic accuracy and sterile reproduction all leave me rather cold. Great artists leave an imprint of their own personality in the finished work. Those are the works I like to collect.
Laura Smith, Shakers
Laura Smith’s painting ‘Shakers’ combines all the best qualities I look for in an oil painting: a wonderful colour palette, exciting execution and an intriguing subject composition that encourages you to return. This is no ordinary still life. Set within a semi-abstract framework, it’s a composition that holds your attention and draws you back to investigate what you first thought may be going on.
Louise Balaam’s paintings draw deeply on her emotional response to nature and I feel that ‘Low Tide, Dark Coast’ is one of her most expressive paintings. First, I’m attracted to the speed of her brushwork and the physical application of paint. This is painting in the raw; it’s a direct and personal response to her subject. Next, I’m excited by the expressive use of colour, which for me helps to convey the sense of place.
Louise Balaam NEAC, Low Tide, Dark Coast
Jack Sutherland is not just Weekend and Duty Night Manager at Mall Galleries he is also a talented painter who creates little masterpieces of abstraction. He describes his painting style as “post-painterly” with “elements of minimalism”. In ‘Updown’ I perceive carefully observed elements of colour, washed across the board to create a neo-figurative composition - as exciting as a Howard Hodgkin.
Jack Sutherland, Updown
Sarah Jane Moon, Near Lauzerte
Sarah Jane Moon is probably best known for her portraits, but I’ve selected one of her landscapes. I’ve chosen ‘Near Lauzerte’. While the impact of the colour is a knock out, it’s the immediacy of engaging with the landscape that makes this painting a winner. I feel that I’m standing alongside Sarah and her easel, carried away to the edge of a tiny village in the south of France, where the heat and rolling fields of sunflowers invigorate my spirits.
Lachlan Goudie ROI, Morning Calm, Loch Scridain
The Scottish Colourists remain a fascination and an inspiration to the Glasgow-born artist Lachlan Goudie, whose oil painting ‘Morning calm, Loch Scridain’ combines a vivid colour palette with Impressionistic strokes of the brush. It’s the economy of brushwork that draws me closer into this work and holds my attention. Colour follows by enriching the visual excitement of this painting; nothing fussy is allowed to distract from conveying this coastline’s natural beauty.