In 1883, at 23 years of age, Sir James Guthrie painted his masterpiece To Pastures New. Growing up, I was always arrested by this work during my weekly visits to Aberdeen Art Gallery. The natural light, coarse canvas and chiselled modelling of paint – marking him as a follower of Bastien Lepage – were qualities that particularly enthralled me.
The geese were likely based on a taxidermed specimen that Guthrie later gifted to his fellow Glasgow Boy, E.A. Hornel, for reference in his own work.
The goose still resides among the artifacts at Hornel’s Broughton House, and has been an irresistible still life (or portrait?) subject for me during my artistic residency.
Two of my studies of Guthrie’s Goose will be on show in Edinburgh later in June. The first, painted in dayight, (pictured above at an early stage in progress) will be among the works at the Art in Healthcare exhibition, Inverlieth House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, 7-16 June 2019.
The second, painted with an additional spotlight, will join 60 other works in my solo exhibition, Gravity and Light, at the Scottish Gallery, June 29 – July 20, 2019.