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Travels After Lockdown

On a recent visit to Bergen I visited 3 of the main art galleries that had just reopened for the summer – Kode 2, 3 and 4. The exhibition in Kode 2 was on Picasso called Utstilling: Pablo Picasso. Suite 347.  It contained 347 drawings and lithographs, nearly all nudes, painted in his later life aged 75+.  I felt it was rather a manic repetition on the same theme (!), but there were a few exceptions. I particularly liked these two for their very fine artwork

In the other galleries Kode 3 and 4 are permanent exhibitions of 18th, 19th and 20th century art, featuring some well known Norwegian artists, including Edvard Munch and Nicolai Astrup. It was good to discover the pioneering female artist Harriet Bakker (Chez Moi, 1887), Ludvig Karsten (portrait of a lady, 1915) and Hans Gude (Kystbile)

Portrait of a Lady
Chez Moi

Next to a building site there was some interesting street art.  This painting of the elephant and rhinoceros being led towards a precariously fragile bridge made me think of impending extinctions due to human behaviour, but in fact it was a deep, psychoanalytical piece that I won’t even attempt to describe!  It just shows how imagination can create a meaning that is not always the intention of the artist, but it seemed to me to be equally relevant.  

Nicole Porter

Local artist and gallery owner,Nicole Porter, has managed to establish a fine reputation in just a few years. Educated at Ellon Academy and then Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, where she obtained a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art in 2008, Nicole then embarked on a series of study placements in Norway, Paris and New York. Returning to Aberdeen in 2010 and with no business experience, she decided to open her own gallery. Looking back, she says, ”It was a bold move. Creating paintings is one thing, but being able to run a successful business is another thing altogether”. Well, she did make a success of it and her Gallery is now very well established and flourishing. Over the years she has won many awards for her work and exhibited in galleries in both the UK and abroad. Her speciality is portraiture but she also paints inspirational city landscapes. She now juggles, her painting and gallery management with bringing up a family of three small children.


Outdoor Meetings

Some of our members at the Thursday Outdoor Gathering

The outdoor meetings have proved a success socially, but not, as yet, artistically. We will meet again this coming Thursday (July 23rd) and possibly subsequent weeks whilst the good weather lasts and until indoor sessions resume.

Summer Outings

The seasons are marching on and we are now into what would have been our summer break. It is strange to think that we haven’t held an indoor session since March and I think we have all missed that weekly gathering. Weather permitting, we will hold two outdoor sessions at the Riverside Car Park in Ellon on Thursday July 9th and 16th from 10.30 until 1.00. We plan to do some sketching and painting or just plain socialise. This would be a good opportunity for anyone who is interested in joining the group to come along and see what we get up to; please just turn up and introduce yourself.

A sketch for the present times

An artist who lived in Ellon for many years, has done this sketch to represent what is dominating our lives at the moment. ”I was looking for an expression of what was happening and this seemed to fit the bill. The virus strangling humanity”

Deborah Phillips

Deborah Phillips was born in Dundee in 1965. Always anatural artist she first exhibited work at the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Art at the age of 14. She attended and graduated with BA Arts (Hons) from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in 1987. She is now established as a successful full time professional artists.

Deborah Phillips started her art career as a designer with the National Trust for Scotland. A similar role followed as Deborah undertook work with Historic Scotland. Deborah Phillips also worked with an international art and craft company professionally demonstrating art and craft materials from 1996 to 1998.

Today much of Deborah Phillips contemporary painting is undertaken from commissions. Corporate organisations such as Standard Life, Bank of Scotland, Marks and Spencer together with well know personalities feature as collectors of her increasingly popular painting.

Talking about her art work Deborah says,” I enjoy all aspects of creating a painting, from going out into the the stunning Scottish countryside to collect reference material, priming the board on which I will paint, squeezing paint from the tubes and watching it glisten on the palette, holding the well-used brushes, mixing the squelchy colour and applying it in swathes, varnishing, framing and then seeing the finished article on a gallery wall – every stage gives me a thrill.”

As a contemporary Scottish artist Deborah Phillips makes use of strong and bold colour. Her paintings are rooted in the rich, evocative Scottish Landscape. And in recent paintings Deborah has concentrated on using Acrylics which give added vitality and movement to her paintings.

A critic once wrote “Deborah Phillips is one of those gifted artists who can paint a scene which we are all familiar, yet have never seen as she sees it.” Deborah describes her paintings as “Jaunty Scottish landscape!”. They are certainly immediately identifiable and uplifting.

Several magazine articles have featured Deborah Phillips paintings including Artists and Illustrators and International Artist Magazine. She has also been the Cover Artist for Picture Business Magazine. And images of Deborah’s contemporary paintings are now available as greetings cards from Paperlink within their L’arte range. When she is not painting Deborah Phillips is also a convener at the Dundee Art Society.

Golden Grazing near Ballater

New Talent

Its always good to hear the younger generations are enjoying art. Here is a self portrait done by the great-granddaughter of one of our members:-