"Birds on Kirkton" presents the viewer with a flat piece of land, hidden under a blanket of snow. An old building - either a church or house - rests on the far right of the painting behind snow-covered walls and fences. Two rows of trees cut a swathe through the centre of the painting, leaving a gap through which we can follow the telegraph poles as they disappear over the horizon. The only movement is the activity of the ducks and seagulls which gather around an icy lake.
The scene is a peaceful one, where no people disturb the view. The use of white and grey in the painting creates a sense of chilly isolation. The only sign of modernity is the line of telegraph poles. We get the sense that nothing else has changed within the last 100 years.
Mary Paton (1920 - 1990) was born in Ayrshire and studied at Edinburgh College of Art under William Gillies and William McTaggart. She spent most of her life living and working near Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire.