At the Open Eye in February part of the works being exhibited will include paintings by Glen Scouller.

Scouller divides his time between Scotland and France. This exhibition of new landscapes explores the contrasts between the Western Isle of Colonsay to the region of Chamaret in southeastern France.

“The autumn and winter seasons are my favourite times for painting in France. It’s quieter then, with less tourists populating the hilltop and coastal villages plus the landscape takes on a more skeletal appearance with many of the trees and vines stripped of their leaves, making a more stark display against the dry Provençal soil.

For the past two years I have painted in the Drôme department of France mainly in and around the small village of Chamaret. In the autumn here the colours and light change from their summer intensity to softer hues. The skies are a paler, cooler blue. The trees are turning from green to gold and the air is filled with the aroma of garden bonfires, the main ingredient being the heady mix of dried herbs and plants…..truly intoxicating.

After this year’s French trip I went straight to the island of Colonsay in the Hebrides, this was my first visit to the island and the landscape here couldn’t have been a greater contrast with that of the south of France. As with France I much prefer the Scottish autumn/winter seasons for painting… I think the summer landscape just holds too much green for me.

On Colonsay the sky appears bigger with the Atlantic breeze making the cloud formations race across the landscape. This I found both challenging and exciting. One minute the sea and land would be lit by a burst of sunlight, a short time later it would be plunged into darkness by a sudden icy shower …..this is the kind of challenge that someone like myself, who paints en plein air, enjoys painting in Scotland.

My only previous experiences of Colonsay were the landscapes of one of my tutors at the Glasgow School of Art, the late John Cunningham whose paintings of the raised beaches I had always admired for their immediacy and freshness. However I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a lot more to the island than just it’s dramatic coastline which Cunningham found so engaging. For its size, the island provides a large variety of natural habitats from woodland, moorland and peat bogs to cultivated farmland, meadows and rough pastures, in which can be found a wealth of indigenous plants that includes a number of rarities.

I was fortunate to stay in a cottage next to a beautiful secluded dense wood where plants and trees thrive in the warmth of the Gulf Stream. These included exotic palms, rare orchids and many other specimens plus the island is also a destination for numerous migratory birds which in turn makes it popular with ornithologists.

I feel I haven’t started to scratch the surface of pictorial possibilities on Colonsay and look forward to returning next spring to different painting challenges and a whole range of new seasonal contrasts.”

Glen Scouller, January 2014

Click below link for exhibition catalogue:

Download Glen Scouller_Contrasts-Colonsay to Chamaret (pdf)


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Exhibition Colonsay to Chamaret from 24 February 2014