22 June 2011

Joan Eardley and Salvador Dali

Joan Eardley (1922 - 1963)

"Joan Eardley is considered to be the most influential Scottish painter of her generation. Her depiction of both the rural and urban sides of Scotland is unique.
The dramatic seascapes of wild winter seas were painted out of doors on the shore or cliff top of Catterline, a small east coast fishing village south of Aberdeen. Eardley loved the ever changing light and weather of this rugged coastline and although many of these large paintings are of the same view they each capture the different mood of a bright evening sunset or a dark approaching storm.

She also portrayed the changing seasons in the fields around the village in heavily layered and textured paint even incorporating real flower heads into the surface.
In total contrast to this expression of nature she also spent periods of time in Glasgow depicting the children and tenements around her Townhead studio.
These powerful drawings and paintings capture the humanity of these poor but vibrant children. Eardley paints them as they are in secondhand clothes, eating a 'piece', playing in the street, the girls looking after their younger siblings. Their relationships and friendships are captured in Eardley's unique style whether in a quick sketch or large painted composition.
Her death from cancer in 1963 at the age of only 42 robbed the world of an outstanding artist at the height of her achievement."

Extract title "About Joan Eardley" from

This weekend my sisters and I are off to Edinburgh to see the Kings of Leon, brilliant band! And as a bonus, I get to spend time in Edinburgh's art galleries.  So, today I have been scouring the internet in search of exhibitions and there they were, Joan Eardley's paintings, just as striking as I remember. I was very excited to see the little street child sitting inside my computer screen. I was obsessed in Joan Eardley for years after seeing her paintings in the National Gallery in Glasgow on a school trip.  What age was I then? Seventeen? (I think, I have a very poor memory!) Ahem, so not long ago...  The colours were amazingly vivid, the paintings were full of movement and texture.  She utterly inspired me, I read all the books that mentioned her in the school library, I would hazard a guess there were perhaps three, but even so she left an impression.  I am sad to say that I have not thought on her much since then but I am amazed how much the early influence still shows in my work.

To add to my excitement, there is an exhibition entitled 'Narcissus Reflected' in the Fruitmarket Gallery that is showing Salvador DalĂ­’s painting Metamorphosis of Narcissus (1937).  Perfect. 

Kings of Leon could possibly be bested by Eardley and Dali!!