Gill Knight, 'Breakers and Seaweed', oil on board
Gill Knight, 'Breakers and Seaweed', oil on board

Scotland’s Land and Sea Meet at Dundas Street Gallery Edinburgh

Title:
Scottish Land and Sea: Two Perspectives

Dates:
25 May 2021 – 31 May 2021

Times:
Daily, 10:00 - 18:00

Venue:
Dundas Street Gallery
6 Dundas Street
Edinburgh
Edinburgh & the Lothians
EH3 6HZ

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.’ 

Sarah Anderson, 'Approaching Storm, Harris', oil on canvas
Sarah Anderson, ‘Storm Approaching, Harris’, oil on canvas

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.

Sarah Anderson, 'Waves, Isle of Skye', oil on canvas
Sarah Anderson, ‘Waves, Isle of Skye’, oil on canvas

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. 

Sarah Anderson, 'Spring in the Western Isles', oil on canvas
Sarah Anderson, ‘Spring in the Western Isles’, oil on canvas

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!

Sarah Anderson, Moody Glencoe, oil on canvas
Sarah Anderson, ‘Moody Glencoe’, oil on canvas

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’.

Gill Knight, 'Breakers and Seaweed', oil
Gill Knight, ‘Breakers and Seaweed’, oil on board

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. 

Gill Knight, 'Nimbus', oil
Gill Knight, ‘Nimbus’, oil on board

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. 

Gill Knight, 'Another Time, Another Place', oil and tissue
Gill Knight, ‘Another Time, Another Place’, oil and tissue on canvas

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. 

Gill Knight, 'Newhaven Harbour', oil
Gill Knight, ‘Newhaven Harbour’, oil on board

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.

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