Author: Christine Richard OBE FRSA

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Thursday, June 12th, 2014 at 6:05 pm
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From the Med to the Minch – A Painting Journey across Europe

Currently and until 28 June, The Torrance Gallery in Edinburgh’s Dundas Street has an Exhibition of some wonderful landscape and other paintings by Stuart Herd who lives in Tarbert where he has a Gallery and a studio. His paintings are, as the title of the exhibition says, ‘From the Med to the Minch – A painting Journey across Europe’.

For a time Stuart went to live in Jamaica where his drawings were particularly popular and in this exhibition I feel his spirit and sense of adventure shine through.

Stuart studied at Amersham School of Art before taking up photography. In the 1990s he came to Edinburgh and concentrated on very detailed pen and ink drawings of the architecture of the city, before moving to the inspiring west coast of Scotland, where he began to concentrate on landscapes, particularly of Kintyre and the Inner Hebrides, and opened a gallery and framing studio.

A dreadful accident at home when using a screw driver on a wardrobe cost him not only the sight of one eye but the eye itself. A less determined man might have given up at this point but Stuart says,  ‘I was determined to carry on.’  So Stuart continued to produce his lively and colourful paintings in acrylic, even going so far as to open the Harbour Gallery in addition to the studio which he still has.

There are 64 paintings on show at the Torrance, the largest number Stuart has exhibited at once so far,  and all are for sale and very reasonably priced. The ones I personally liked best were of Scottish scenes, especially ‘Winter’s Calling Again, Islay’ (pictured above right).  This depicts a lowering sky and whipped up snow with a bright red telephone box providing a brilliant contrast to the snow. I also liked  ‘Awakening Venice, Italy’, which has such charm you feel you could be there.

In spite of the many and varied locations, the exhibition has a homogenous quality which I believe is owing to the consistently high standard of craftsmanship, whether it is a street scene in London or the Old Course at St Andrews.

Just as a footnote, Stuart is judge of the Children’s Paintings at Tarbert’s Annual Flower Show – talent-spotting for future artists to exhibit perhaps!

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