There have been a couple of recent TV programmes featuring art competitions: Drawers Off and Landscape Artist of the Year. Each group of artists is given the challenge to paint the same Life Drawing or a selected scenic view for the judges to assess, compare and contrast.
In similar vein, Sarah Anderson and Gill Knight present a showcase of land and seascapes with their contrasting artistic style and perspective.
Sarah Anderson was brought up in Galloway and says, ‘My inspiration is derived from the magnificent Scottish landscape to envelop the viewer in the prevailing atmosphere.’
Storm Approaching, Harris is a well-crafted composition through the layered approach of sandy beach, white horse waves, indigo sky and threat of a heavy downpour, with a streak of sunlight above the hazy silhouette of a distant island.
A vibrant palette of coral, amber, mauve and turquoise washes together in Waves, Isle of Skye, creating a smooth matte texture and harmonious blending of colour. With soft luminosity, the scurrying wispy cloud gives a virtual whiff of the sea-salty breeze.
A delightful, seasonal seascape, Spring in the Western Isles, captures a host of golden daffodils, pink and blue poppies and white sandy beach across the turquoise bay. No wonder that a photograph of a similar Hebridean scene was mistaken for tropical Thailand!
The rugged terrain of Moody Glencoe is viewed cowering under dark rain clouds with shimmering light casting long shapely shadows. Look carefully to spot a dot of a white cottage perched by the river for dramatic scale (Highland crofts are an iconic trademark in many of Sarah’s landscapes); the border of wild grasses also leads the eye up to the snowy mountain peak.
Gill Knight grew up in various rural locations across Scotland and her artistic impetus is ‘to transfer memories and experiences of the natural world into something tangible’.
Breakers and Seaweed is an impressionistic, dark, moody seascape – immediately evocative of Joan Eardley’s powerful portrayals of stormy seas at Catterline. With an easel anchored by rocks, Eardley would stand for hours on the seashore to immerse herself in the harsh elements:
‘A most exciting day, with every variation of colour – black sea, bright green striped sea, brown sea, yellow sea and no sea. Extraordinary strong cloud formations, too.’ Joan Eardley.
In similar style, Gill captures the watery elements of sea and sky through sweeping brush strokes of charcoal grey and azur blue with a sparkle of copper-tinted seaweed on the dark rocky shore. Such a cool, calm perspective with bold abstract expression.
A Nimbus cloud produces rain, hail, snow, or sleet, dense with water, spread uniformly across the sky. The semi opaque, smudged, streaked cloud mass in Nimbus swirling above a rough sea of splashing waves has such energy in its depiction of movement.
The addition of tissue paper to the oil paint in Another Place, Another Time creates innovative texture and depth to the muted hues of colours. Stand back to view from the right hand side of the painting and the spotlight shines on the crumbled folds of paper giving the effect of a rain shower.
The tall, white-washed lighthouse which guards the entrance to this historic fishing port in Edinburgh is no longer in operation. Here it is illuminated in Newhaven Harbour against the shimmering last rays of light in the night sky, as if the flashing beams are warning sailors out at sea once again.
Two Artists; Two Perspectives of Scottish Land and Sea complement each other with vivid expressions of isolation, tranquility and peace from Cramond and North Berwick, Arran and Arisaig to Skye and the Outer Hebrides.
With grateful thanks Vivien Devlin for this review.