Autumn Field, Gilmerton
By Andrew Smith

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Year
1992
Media
Oil Painting
Subject Matter
Landscape
Reg. Number
P216
Size
71 x 86.5 cm

The painting portrays a landscape of the southern side of Edinburgh situated towards Bonnyrigg and Dalkeith, where Andrew Smith originally hails from. It has has featured in quite a few of his works over many years. It is executed in the artist's distinctive style of bright colours, strong shapes and shadows. It is a about a play of light in the meadows and on the mountains. The lack of detail is deliberate. The shadows on the mountain has been created by applying a few brush strokes however the illusion of light and dark and the dominant shape of the mountain is very distinct, especially when looking from a distance.

A close inspection of the canvas of shows that the oil paint has been applied with bold strokes to give a strong feel of dynamism and movement. The range of yellow tones increasingly spreading and becoming denser towards the middle of painting gives an illusion that the viewer is standing inside the meadow.The artist and us, as the witnesses, are looking at the magnificent landscape which is dominated by the mountain in the background. It stands out with it’s stark shape and darkened tonality.

The artist was commissioned to paint an artwork for the Art in Healthcare (previously known as Paintings in Hospitals) organization. A letter dated from 1992 describes a curious incident. The first painting the artist presented for the commision apparently was a very beautifully executed artwork depicting a girl sunbathing. Unfortunately despite appreciating it’s aesthetic value the board decided to turn it down as it might be too offensive for some tastes! The letter concluded that the board is waiting for Andrew Smith’s next landscape painting, which, of course is this one.

Born in Cockpen, Midlothian in 1938, Andrew Smith graduated from the Edinburgh College of Art in 1950s. This was followed by periods of living and working in Italy (on a scholarship) and in London. When he returned back to Scotland, he became an art teacher. Throughout this time he was actively working on his own projects and had many solo and joint exhibitions. Since 1990's he managed to realise his life-long ambition and passion and became a full time artist. He has completed a number of private and corporate commissions, including artworks for Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Life Building Tanfield in Edinburgh. His bold and energetic style using bright colours adds drama to everyday life.