John brings blast of colour to gallery

John Lowrie Morrison's work is on display at the Tolquhon Gallery
John Lowrie Morrison's work is on display at the Tolquhon Gallery

One of Scotland’s most popular artists has brought an explosion of colour to the North-east with his exhibition of new paintings.

John Lowrie Morrison, known as Jolomo opened ‘A Tapestry of Colour’ at the Tolquhon Gallery near Ellon at the weekend.

The exhibition, which includes paintings of the West Coast and the Hebrides, Argyll and Arran, is John’s first show in the North-east for two years.

John said: “A Tapestry of Colour is how I think about it. More and more, it is about knitting together the colour and the paint and the images in the picture.

“That’s what I love doing, weaving a tapestry of bright, strong colour through the paintings. There is a tapestry of themes as well - the sea, crofts, mountains.”

John said the idea goes back to a summer job he had when he was studying at Glasgow School of Art: “When I was at art school in the late 1960s, I got a summer job at Templetons carpet factory in Glasgow. The Head of the Design Department headhunted me because he knew I was interested in textiles.

“I did some designs for rugs and learned all kinds of stuff about carpet-making. But I always like the backs of the carpets, they were untidy and full of colour, basically very abstract. That’s still with me when I’m painting.”

John, who lives and works in Argyll, worked for 25 years in art education before leaving to paint full-time.

His distinctive colourful landscapes quickly made him one of the Scotland’s most successful painters, with celebrities such as Sting, Madonna, Simon Le Bon and Gregor Fisher collecting his work.

He first exhibited at the Tolquhon Gallery in 1998, soon after leaving teaching to become a full-time artist.

Joan Ross, owner of the Tolquhon Gallery, said: “It was clear then that he was something special.

“There is such joy and energy in his work. His paintings have a remarkable impact.

“In his last exhibition at Tolquhon in 2017, people were literally stopped in their tracks and some were near to tears.

“It is humbling to see the response to his work.

“The new exhibition is a glorious collection of landscapes and seascapes from the west coast and the islands; it includes stormy sunsets and wild seas as well as gentler summer days, all knitted together in ‘A Tapestry of Colour’.”

John’s exhibition will be on display at the Tolquhon Gallery until Tuesday, July 9.