Travel is a significant element in Scouller’s life, since he has travelled extensively throughout Europe, South Africa and India, and he has a wonderful ability to convey the atmosphere and sense of a place. The interior setting for this piece appears to be somewhere exotic, which is also suggested by the man’s clothing and fez. This domestic scene is a screenprint but the light, fluid colours are reminiscent of the spontaneous, quick brushstrokes of watercolour.
There is a great freshness to this scene, largely due to the use of cobalt blue and citrus yellow which evoke his rural landscapes of southern France and Italy. Scouller is a master of ‘plein-air’ painting and paints quickly and this freshness is translated into this interior. The room is filled with brilliant light: ‘My main subject matter is light, whether on a landscape or a still life...light and colour are two very strong elements in my work.’
The simple outlines and bright patches of colour are reminiscent of the interiors of Matisse and the decorative walls suggest the influence of Vuillard. Scouller sees these influences in his work; however, he says he is never conscious of having a particular style as he works. The walls are highly patterned and this repetitive decoration draws the eye around the room, straight to the background where the man of the title stands which shows great compositional skill.
Glen Scouller was born in Glasgow in 1950 and studied at Glasgow School of Art between 1968 and 1973. He trained as a teacher at Jordanhill College and from 1974 taught art in Glasgow secondary schools. He pursued his passion for painting in his spare time and began tutoring at Glasgow School of Art in 1986. The turning point in his career was 1989 when he was elected a member of the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts and gave up all of his teaching posts to concentrate on painting full time. In 1997 he became an elected member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours, becoming Vice President in 2007.