This piece is a typical product of George Donald's interest in Far-Eastern countries which is reflected in the imagery of his works. It demonstrates his signature use of luminous colours and delicate lines. The colours in this piece - greys, muted greens and off-whites - give the painting a sense of cool tranquility. The pagoda and bridge in the top right corner are painted in orange-red which adds some warmth but does not disturb the calmness of the composition. The same colour is used for the three carp in the pond. The shape of the plants, to the front of the work, are rounded and orderly, contributing to the sense of ordered calm
Kyoto was once the imperial capital of Japan, and is home to many of the country’s finest gardens. Ponds featured at the heart of the city's gardens, featuring rocks sourced from mountains and riverbanks and transported over long distances. Some of the oldest gardens in Kyoto were created in the Heian era (794-1185) and are known in Japanese as ‘pond-spring-boating-gardens.’
George Donald was born in India in 1943, into a colonial family towards the end of British colonial rule. His family moved to northeast Scotland when he was young, and the contrast between the nostalgic vision of the land of his birth and the harsh climate of his upbringing has profoundly influenced his work. He studied at the Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh University. He has worked as lecturer in drawing, painting and printmaking at Edinburgh College of Art and Director of the Centre for Continuing Studies, which he co-founded in 1999. During his career he has travelled extensively to Japan, Korea, China, the United States and the United Arab Emirates. His artwork reflects his profound interest in Asian cultures He is a member of the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour. He is currently adjunct professor to the art department of the University of Central Florida, Orlando, and Honorary Professor at the Maktoum Institute, Dundee. His awards include the Sir William Gillis Bequest in 2003 and the Scottish Arts Club award in 2006. His work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions across Scotland.
Art in Healthcare's blog entry about George Donald