Thank you Sarah Lowe for adopting this artwork.
'Big Wind' by James Morrison takes a sweeping skyline as its subject matter. The fairly large-scale size of the work acts to enhance this panoramic point of view, which is further underlined by a low horizon point. Throughout his career, James has been heavily influenced by the landscapes around his home, including the regions of Montrose and Assynt in West Sutherland. In this painting the artist brings to life the drama of a windy, almost thunderous scene and it is his particular treatment of the cloudy skies that is most evocative of this.
In relation to cloudy skyscapes, there is almost a trace of the eminent 19th century landscape artist John Constable. The work seems to draw upon a material engagement with the viewer, through the texture of the paint and the atmospheric colour palette. James invokes the emotional quality of his materials through direct and confident brushstrokes that draw the viewers eye around the hazy cloudy formations in the sky. Even though the scene is suggestive of turbulent weather to come, there is a certain serenity to be found through engaging with this work. Perhaps, the viewers experience of this work is akin to the calm before the storm.
A highly regarded Scottish painter, James Morrison was born in Glasgow in 1932 and studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1950-4. He was visiting artist at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath from 1963-4 and lived in Catterline before moving to Montrose in 1965. James joined the staff of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee the same year and was senior lecturer there from 1979-87 when he left the college to paint full time. He has painted widely abroad since his travelling scholarship took him to Greece. Further painting trips have been to France, Canada, the High Arctic and Botswana. However, for a long time his two major sources of inspiration have been the landscapes around his home in Montrose and Assynt in West Sutherland.
James is an Academician of the Royal Scottish Academy and a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour.
With thanks to the Kinblethmont Gallery for artist information