Researching Women Artists

I am delighted to have become a member of two groups researching women artists. The first is the Hepworth Research Network. This is a partnership between the Hepworth Wakefield, Department of History of Art at… View Post

Collecting Joan Eardley

As part of the Joan Eardley (1921-63) centenary celebrations, I am delighted to be giving a keynote presentation ‘From the Highlands to Hampshire: The Collecting of Joan Eardley’ at the Joan Eardley New Perspectives on-line… View Post

A Quartet of Events!

Please join me at a quartet of events in Spring 2021, looking at ‘Inspiring Women Artists‘, ‘Arran in the National Collection‘, ‘Women Artists at the Royal Scottish Academy in the 1920s‘ and ‘Paula Rego: Obedience… View Post

A Scottish Colourist Staycation

Can’t go away for a Spring break because of you know what? Let’s go on a Scottish Colourist staycation instead! The four painters, F. C. B. Cadell (1883-1937), J. D. Fergusson (1874-1961), G. L. Hunter… View Post

The Joy of Yellow

Yellow is the colour of Spring and with daffodils at their peak, let’s look at how modern Scottish artists have introduced the joy of yellow into their work. Dorothy Johnstone (1892-1980) In Black and Yellow… View Post

From Arran to the National Collection

I am delighted that my paper proposal ‘From Arran to the National Collection: Early Twentieth-Century Responses to the Island’s Landscape’ has been selected for inclusion in the Arran Arts Heritage Trail on-line symposium ‘The Isle… View Post

Happy International Women’s Day!

To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021, I have created an Art UK Curation and am giving a talk celebrating the achievements of Modern Scottish Women Artists. A Dozen Modern Scottish Women Painters… View Post

The Signs of Spring

As the winter of Covid-19 drags on, be cheered by the signs of Spring which are beginning to appear. Four modern Scottish artists draw our attention to the start of this lovely season. The Shoots… View Post

Zoom Inspiration: Catherine Sargeant

It was great to be a Chair and Speaker at the Scottish Society for Art History’s recent ‘Art, Landscape and Space‘ on-line Study Day. I chaired the second session, ‘The Stimulus of Rural, Urban and… View Post

‘Inspiring Women Artists at Marchmont’ on-line event

I’m delighted to be Chairing the on-line event ‘A Prelude to Inspiring Women Artists at Marchmont‘ on 24 April 2021. The speakers are Professor Elizabeth Cumming of the University of Edinburgh, Dr Sally Anne Huxtable… View Post

An (Almost) A to Z of Modern Scottish Women Artists

Please join me when I give the free on-line talk ‘An (Almost) A to Z of Modern Scottish Women Artists for Museums & Galleries Edinburgh to mark International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March 2021.… View Post

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham in the 1940s

As a former Trustee of the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust I was delighted to contribute to a series of films they are making about each decade of her important, long and prolific career. I was invited… View Post

David Eustace and 32 York Place

During a lull in this summer’s lockdown, I was lucky enough to observe the photographer David Eustace at work on a new portfolio of portraits. The series is now complete and has been named ‘Thirty… View Post

A Studio Visit

Hogmanay traditionally involves ‘first footing’, or the arrival of the first guest after midnight on New Year’s Eve. Whilst this hasn’t been possible this year, let’s visit some modern Scottish artists in their studios instead.… View Post

What a year!

As 2020 draws to a close, let’s take a look at some of its most memorable moments, from home schooling to working from home, via modern Scottish art.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year through modern British paintings! Christmas will be muted for most of us this year and few will be sorry to see 2020 come to an… View Post

My Favourite Public Sculpture

I was delighted to be asked by the Public Statues and Sculpture Association to choose my favourite statue or sculpture within the public realm. I chose Phyllis Mary Bone’s camel roundel in the Scottish National War Memorial.

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Norman McBeath’s ‘Perdendosi’ series

What began as a joke about the mispronunciation of our surnames (his is like ‘Macbeth’, mine is not ‘Strange’) turned into admiration for a beautiful body of work created during lockdown. ‘Perdendosi’ is the title… View Post

Filming at the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust

I’ve just spent an enjoyable morning filming at the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust. They are producing a series of films, one to mark each decade of her long and prolific career. I was given the pick… View Post

Christmas is Coming!

Now that December has begun, it’s fair to say that Christmas is coming! Celebrations this year will be unlike any other, but modern Scottish artists can help you to enjoy the season nonetheless. A White… View Post

‘Art, Landscape and Space’ study day

I’m delighted that my paper about the sculpture in the grounds of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art has been selected for inclusion in the Scottish Society for Art History‘s ‘Art, Landscape and Space‘… View Post

Four of the First: Women Pioneers at the Royal Scottish Academy

Joyce W. Cairns (b.1947) was elected the first female President of the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture on 28 November 2018. To mark the second anniversary of this historic occasion, I look at… View Post

The First Women of the Royal Scottish Academy

I am delighted that my essay, ‘The First Women of the Royal Scottish Academy’ has been published on the Academy’s website today. It looks at the eight ‘first women’ of the Academy, from Christina Robertson… View Post

Joyce W. Cairns: First Female RSA President

There’s a great feature in today’s Sunday National newspaper marking the second anniversary of the artist Joyce W. Cairns becoming the first female president of the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture. My essay… View Post

Everyday Beauty: The Windowsill

Whilst many of us are spending more time than usual at home, let’s try to find beauty in our everyday surroundings. Modern Scottish artists have been inspired in a variety of ways by that common… View Post

The Beautiful Tulip

Tulips have provided inspiration to many artists, despite the fact that they continue to grow after being cut. This means that as models they do not ‘sit still’ and need to be observed, sketched and… View Post

Welcome to Winter!

With leaves falling from the trees, days shortening and temperatures dropping, it’s time to bid welcome to Winter through modern Scottish paintings. Winter Fashion One of the first signs of Winter’s approach is the need… View Post

Modern Scottish Art in Leicester

I am delighted that my feature for Leicester Museum & Galleries about the modern Scottish art in their collection has gone live on their newly launched website. It discusses works by John Bellany (1942-2013), Duncan… View Post

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is different this year given COVID-19 restrictions, but fear not, it can still be enjoyed via modern Scottish paintings. Halloween Frolics With door to door guising (trick or treating) considered unsafe by the Scottish… View Post

Working from Home

With the furlough leave scheme coming to an end, more people than ever are working from home. Let’s take a look at the ‘new normal’ of work away from the open plan office, via paintings… View Post

Women at Work

Let’s celebrate the working lives of modern Scottish women artists, in images they painted of their professional and personal worlds. Dorothy Carleton Smyth: The Artist In Self-portrait of 1921 by Dorothy Carleton Smyth (1880-1931), the… View Post

The Digital Future of the Art World Webinar

I am delighted to be a co-organiser and speaker at the Scottish Society for Art History and Creative Informatics webinar ‘Lockdown Legacy: The Digital Future of the Art and Digital Cultural Heritage World.’ It will… View Post

Beneath the Mask

With most of us now wearing masks on a daily basis, join modern Scottish artists in revelling in the human face. John Duncan Fergusson: Full-frontal Hortensia of 1907 by the Scottish Colourist John Duncan Fergusson… View Post

Fountainbridge Library: Building of the Month

I am delighted that my feature about Fountainbridge Library (1937-40), Dundee Street, Edinburgh has just been published as October’s Twentieth-Century Society Building of the Month. Doors Open Days 2020 The feature discusses this rare and… View Post

Harvest Time

As October begins and Autumn matures, we reach harvest time once again. Artists have celebrated this climax of the agricultural calendar in various ways. A Cornfield in Catterline In The Cornfield of c.1960, Joan Eardley… View Post

The Studio at 32 York Place

Whilst scrolling through the colour and noise of Instagram, a low-toned Mother and Son portrait slowed my finger to a stop. Taken by the photographer David Eustace it showed Elizabeth and Guy Peploe, daughter-in-law and… View Post

Opening Doors and Climbing Stairs at Fountainbridge Library

Fountainbridge Library, Dundee Street, Edinburgh is a rare example of modern Scottish architecture. Designed by John A. W. Grant (1886/7–1959) it was built between 1937 and 1940. It opened as a state-of-the-art library during the… View Post

Modern Scottish Women Artists talk now on YouTube

My ten-minute talk ‘From Student to Professional: Modern Scottish Women Artists’ is now available on YouTube. I talk about Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Pat Douthwaite, Joan Eardley and Anne Redpath, who have all contributed to modern Scottish… View Post

The Humble Jug

What would artists do without that stalwart still life prop, the humble jug? More informal and utilitarian than a vase and used in a myriad of ways, once you become aware of its self-effacing role… View Post

Fountainbridge Library and Doors Open Days 2020

My local library, Foutainbridge Library on Dundee Street, Edinburgh, is a rare and important example of modern Scottish architecture. Designed by John A. W. Grant (1886/7-1959), it was built between 1937 and 1940. It opened… View Post

Autumn is in the Air!

As September proceeds, there is a definite feel of Autumn in the air. Bessie MacNicol (1869-1904) captures the season’s warm sunshine and the turning of leaves from green to copper in Autumn of about 1898.… View Post

Scottish Art in the 1920s Lecture

I will be giving a free lecture to accompany the exhibition Bright Shadows: Scottish Art in the 1920s at the City Art Centre, Edinburgh. It is called ‘Proposed and Seconded: The Royal Scottish Academy Nomination… View Post

Happy 40th Birthday City Art Centre!

The City Art Centre, part of Museums & Galleries Edinburgh, opened in 1980. To mark its 40th birthday, I was asked to contribute to an Art UK curation by choosing my favourite painting from their… View Post

Edinburgh College of Art 2020 Graduate Show

I was delighted to be asked to respond to Edinburgh College of Art’s 2020 Graduate Show. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, it is taking place on-line this year. The students and their teachers have made… View Post

Modern Scottish Art Treasures in Greenock

One of my favourite galleries is McLean Museum and Art Gallery, which is part of the Watt Institution in Greenock. They have a splendid collection of Modern Scottish art and during lockdown I had the… View Post

Four Modern Scottish Artists in the Walker Art Gallery

Did you know that the Walker Art Gallery, part of the National Museums Liverpool, has some super Modern Scottish art? I didn’t until I took at look at their collection on the terrific Art UK… View Post

Free Modern Scottish Women Artists Zoom Talk

Please join me when I give a free, 10-minute zoom talk at 11am on Saturday 22 August 2020, called ‘From Student to Professional: Modern Scottish Women Artists‘. It accompanies the Modern Masters Women exhibition at… View Post

Modern Scottish Work in Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery suggested that I write about modern Scottish art in their collection on the subject of ‘work’. I accepted the challenge! We decided on the following themes: How does work relate to time?… View Post

Scottish Art in Newcastle

I’m half-Geordie, so I particularly enjoyed writing about modern Scottish art in the collection of the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle. I wrote about paintings by the Glasgow Boy E. A. Hornel, Glasgow School of… View Post

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham at Pallant House Gallery

Travel with Wilhelmina Barns-Graham to St Ives, Yorkshire and Switzerland via works in the collection of Pallant House Gallery, Chichester.

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The Great Escape

Escape the four walls of your lockdown home and go on holiday with four modern Scottish artists, to Italy, Spain and France, via paintings in UK public collections.

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School’s Out for Summer!

Celebrate the end of the school year and the start of the summer holiday via paintings in UK public collections by James Cowie, Norman Clark, Joan Eardley and Henry Stringer in this curatorial blog.

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