This scene depicting cattle grazing within a landscape by the Scottish artist Archie Sutter Watt (1915-2005) is quite abstract in its approach. Archie is highly regarded for his Galloway landscapes and still-life paintings. In this instance, he has used blocks of colour to denote the main compositional elements within the painting. The cattle almost appear like silhouettes - cut out shapes sitting in fields of colour. As with many of his abstracted landscapes, energetic and urgent gestural forms are present in this work.
Archie has used a palette composed of quite earthy tones, which while setting the atmospheric tone of the work, also helps to give a quite natural immediacy to the work. There is an interesting tonal contrast between the ochre brown of the central field shape and the dark brown and green hues of the road or foliage that outline it. Overall, the painting is indicative of the artist's superior handling of watercolour paint to create a gently atmospheric and evocative rural landscape scene.
Archie Sutter Watt RSW - one of Dumfries and Galloway's best-loved artists - died aged 90 in April 2005. He lived and worked at his studio in Kirkgunzeon near Dalbeattie for over 55 years. After service in the Second World War and then studies at the Glasgow and Edinburgh School of Art, Archie came to Dumfries and Galloway to take up a teaching post in schools. A stalwart of the local community he was instrumental in establishing the Annual Arts Festival and Stewartry Art Society and despite his heavy teaching workload, he continued to create his own work, exhibiting both locally and around the country. He was made full member of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour RSW in 1966. In early 2005 he was still working on a series of new graphic works.