Ellon gallery reopens with show by top Scottish artist

Visitors have been flocking to a north-east art gallery with a storm of colour by a best-selling Scottish artist.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 12:00 am
'Big Storm, The Todhead Light, Aberdeenshire’ is one of 45 new paintings on display.

The Tolquhon Gallery, Tarves, opened its doors to visitors again on May 1 with From Kintyre to the Isles, a show of 45 new paintings by John Lowrie Morrison OBE

Jolomo’s best-selling Scottish landscapes in high-key colour made for a high-profile re-opening for the popular gallery, and opening day was so busy visitors were advised to book a slot in advance.

Joan Ross, owner of the Tolquhon Gallery, said: “We could not think of a better show with which to re-open. Digital images are no substitute for seeing paintings in reality, especially with such an artist like John, who revels in colour and thickly applied oils.

“We’re delighted to be open again and we have a lot of interest so far. Many people have commented on how much better it is to see the paintings in the flesh. It is wonderful to be able to witness the joy his paintings bring.”

John has been painting throughout lockdown in his Argyll studio and says that being relatively free of distractions has given him space to explore new directions in his work, including his love of stormy weather.

He said: “Painting the light is really important to me, but recently I’ve started painting what the weather does to the light.

“A stormy day is always more interesting to paint than a sunny day. People say to me, ‘It’s a lovely day today, you’ll be wanting to get outside with your easel.’ But, actually, I prefer stormy weather. A lot of the paintings in this new exhibition are stormy ones.”

John admits he has been rained on more than a few times while sketching and painting. “I’ve been caught in a few storms, and I love it. Being out in the weather makes you feel more alive.”

The show includes a painting of the Todhead Lighthouse south of Stonehaven which recalls a storm he witnessed when he took a boat trip to see the lighthouse many years ago.

He said: “It was during the winter and the sky suddenly blackened with a massive storm, although the sun was still there in the middle of it. I have a photographic memory and remember it exactly. Thinking back on it, I really wanted to get these colours down.”