A trio of artists at the Dundas Street Gallery take us on a trip from the Scottish Highlands to Transylvania
Filly Nicol, Tessa Whitley and Brenda Martin have been sharing studio space for some years, encouraging and criticising each others’ work, so decided it was time to show their work together. The Dundas Street Gallery is the ideal spacious pop up venue to exhbit their distinctively different yet complementary landscape and figurative paintings, floral and still life sketches.
With a passion for travel way off the beaten track, Filly experienced an extraordinary authentic trip on a local boat, rather than a touristic cruise. Along the upper reaches of the Irrawaddy River, Myanmar are traditional riverside villages and local markets selling vegetables and fish.
Using oil and beeswax on canvas or board, here is a selection of well crafted paintings to illustrate people and places reflecting the timeless culture of former Burma, the sights and sounds described in Kipling’s poem, the Road to Mandalay.
Can’t you ‘ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay ?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!
.. ..spicy garlic smells,
An’ the sunshine an’ the palm-trees an’ the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay.
Water in particular fascinates me as do people going about their daily lives .. the sounds, smells and colours and their animals … I take in the plays of light and wind in skies, on land and on water, the atmosphere and scenes. Filly Nicol
Described as the Fairy Tales lands of Transylvania, the tradition and tranquility of rural Romania is charmingly portrayed in pastoral vignettes to show shepherds and cowherds busy at work and also an elderly woman at leisure in Knitting in the Sunshine, Viscri.
Viscri is a famous village due to its ancient Saxon heritage, and Filly is keen to preserve a painterly vision of peasant farming life here unchanged over the centuries, before it disappears over the next generation.
The Scottish winter is a key inspirational theme for Tessa’s landscapes with an expressive, intuitive use of various shades of white on off-white on buttermilk with a smudge of grey, blending snow and heavy laden skies; almost abstract in the manner of flourishing brushstrokes like a thick layer of icing in paintings, such as Winter Hill.
The soft light is beautifully depicted as the eye follows shadowy tracks snaking through snowy fields, as seen in Flotterstone and Nine Mile Burn – like this this painterly winter scene with pink-tinted sky and real touch of the cold air, which really chills you to the bone!
Travel on north to the remote wilderness of the Highlands, from the west to east coast in a series of scenic views in oil pastel on paper, from Helmsdale to Achiltibuie with its view over to the Summer Isles.
After graduating from The Royal College of Art, Brenda worked as a designer in the fashion industry overseas before returning to the UK to work as a BBC costume designer. Also inspired by the Scottish countryside, she spends a good deal of time in a cottage on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, observing the changing light over Loch Sunart, the hills and forests beyond, as viewed on a summer day and evening dusk.
Most impressive are these mixed media work framed as diptychs, the panoramic views as seen quickly sketched on her drawing pad, en plein air.
Sweeping seascapes such as Storm over Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, and other glorious sandy beaches and empty shorelines, in which the bold blue sky dominates the stunning composition.
With her background in fabric and fashion, Brenda uses fluid paintbrush strokes to fill the canvas with vivid colour, tone and texture to capture blossoming flowers, gardens and the unspoilt natural beauty of Highlands and Islands.
This trio of landscape artists take the visitor on an evocative journey from the Highlands of Scotland to Romania, Isle of Mull to Helmsdale and Northumberland coastline to Kipling’s river in Myanmar with a marvellous, atmospheric sense of time and place.
The Dundas Street Gallery
6 Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6HZ
10 – 15 October, 2015
Open Daily: 1000- 1700.