The cool, subdued colour palette on display here suggest that this abstract landscape is a winter scene with large mountains looming in the background under a gloomy sky. The paint is applied in long strokes with colours layered on top of one another. In some areas the paint is applied in a thin wash to enable the white of the canvas to shine through while the brushstrokes highlight certain areas, such as the three blue trees in the foreground with just a line to suggest the trunks.
The sweeping brushstrokes create a textured work and a sensory experience for the viewer: one feels the presence of the artist through the marks she makes in the paint. This gives a great sense of life and vibrancy to the scene: the artist's connection to this place is communicated to the viewer. Douglas is deeply concerned with the changing effects of landscape, the marks left by physical events, and this combination of a textured and stained canvas gives a feeling of movement and forebodes the possibility of change. The unpredictability of the natural world is evoked through the spontaneous brushstrokes, although meticulous attention to detail and thorough research are vital parts of her artistic process.
Liz Douglas was born in Angus and studied Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art, graduating in 1991 and completing her postgraduate Masters in Fine Art, Painting in 1993. Her solo exhibitions have been held in Jedburgh, Peeples, Selkirk and Dumfries, and her awards include the CABN/Creative Scotland Visual Artists Award, the Society of Scottish Artists Edinburgh Printmakers Research Award, the Edinburgh Lasercutting Studio Prize and the Angus Award for Landscape at the Royal Scottish Academy Student Exhibition. Her work has been featured in public and private collections including Standard Life, East and Midlothian Art Fund, Edinburgh College of Art, National Trust, Scottish Borders Council, Paintings in Hospitals Scotland and Flying Colours Gallery She lives and works in the Scottish Borders.
"Her work, which is influenced by specific landscapes, memory, poetry and music, has developed from direct painting of the landscape to a more sensory approach, creating visual environments using pigments, line, print and contemporary media.
Liz reflects her dialogue with the natural world and the element of unpredictability that exists. She also has a wish to explore these contradictions, using the visible and invisible element in the landscape as metaphor.
The research process she uses involves collaborating with scientists and environmentalists, deepening her knowledge of the natural world, and its contradictions. She investigates microscopic elements using a scanning electron microscope to reveal structures and forms from graptolite fossils, alpine plants, trees and plant pollen material."
While Liz's paintings are concerned with specific geographical locations (notably the Yarrow valley) these are not 'views' so much as personal responses to the places she has worked in, allowing a form of landscape that goes beyond topography.