Stonehaven
By Frances Walker

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Year
1997
Media
Printmaking
Subject Matter
Sea and Boats
Reg. Number
P836
Size
43 x 91 cm

This piece depicts the shoreline of Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. Frances Walker lives in Aberdeenshire and the coastline around her home is a common subject in her work. This image provides a striking contrast between the calm, ordered row of buildings and the turbulent sea. This contrast is created both by colour - compare the clean browns, pinks and whites of the building and the pier with the range of blues and greens of the sea - and by technique, where the straight lines and simple textures of the buildings stand out besides the vibrant, energetic waves of the water raging against them.

It is interesting to note how small the town appears as it is surrounded on one side by a cloudy sky that takes up over a third of the page and on the other side by the sea. The image serves to make the buildings look small and boxed in, surrounded by a hostile environment. This is especially true for the boats in the harbour, whose small dashes of red look particularly vulnerable in the centre of the image. The viewer can see a cloud of surf rising above the road in front of them, giving a sense of the sea's energy.

The artist finds inspiration in the nature of the Scottish wilderness and aims to convey that wildness through her art. Inspiration also comes from the people of these untamed lands and their impact on the natural surroundings.

Frances Walker was born in Kirkcaldy in 1930 and trained at the Edinburgh College of Art. She now lives in Aberdeen and on Tiree, where she lives in one of the few remaining thatched cottages. Many of her drawings and studies are made in Tiree, with larger paintings and prints being produced in Aberdeen. Having painted many of the wildest parts of Scotland, Walker's works not only evoke this wildness but also bears witness to the people who have lived in Scotland and shaped the land with their labour.

With thanks to the Rendezvous Gallery for artist information

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