Stumbling around on Pinterest yesterday evening I came across this artist… loved her work immediately.

She was a British artist noted for her portraiture of street children in Glasgow and for her landscapes of the fishing village of Catterline and surroundings on the North-East coast of Scotland.  Her landscapes were what attracted me first as obviously this is what I am looking at right now. However her portraits of the street children put me in mind of the work of Marlene Dumas, whose exhibition I visited as one of the first I attended with OCA.  Both produce haunting faces, hard to forget as they seem to look out at the viewer from behind masks, quite unsettling.
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The landscapes attract me because of the energy of the mark making in very thick paint which gives texture to each scene.

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This has a feel of sitting in the field as if peering up through the grasses, it feels wind swept, the brush strokes heading in all different directions.  There are just one or two details of the grass shapes, just on the surface layer it appears, these are enough to conjure up the whole field.  I understand from reading about her, that she like to paint actually in situ, she must have had to revisit a view many times as these are oils and the drying takes time, but they have dried between layers as you can see the drier brush strokes not blending with the colours underneath.

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Wonderful winter view, the deep grey of the sky, threatening more snow.  From what I can see in this screen image it looks as though the paint has been scratched into as well as being applied very thickly.  The row of houses look as if they are sliding down the hill, perspectively incorrect by this adds to the atmosphere of the scene.  The limited colours used do give a sense of the cold, the greys, cold/icy blue and just enough brown to give a sense of the earth, frozen and colourless from little light.

 

References:

https://www.nationalgalleries.org/exhibition/joan-eardley-sense-place

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/feb/10/joan-eardley-the-forgotten-artist-who-captured-scotlands-life-and-soul

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