A Breath of Sea Air

The latest Exhibition at the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh’s Abercromby Place starts on Monday 16 March and runs to Wednesday 1 April. I went along to the Private View and was very much impressed – particularly by the work of artist Donald Provan.  Donald uses shoals of fish and seascapes as his subjects and inspiration. I met him at the gallery and was able to ask him personally about his artistic background and inspirations.

Donald trained at Edinburgh College of Art when it was independent in the 1980’s. When I asked: ‘why all the fish?’ Donald told me he had grown up in Fife and loved the sea; he has made this genre his signature work. He has a studio at WASPS in Dalry in Edinburgh.  Oil on board is his preferred medium, which really brings his subjects into bold relief. When we see the whole of one lovely room filled with Donald’s work, you can almost smell the sea. No wonder his work sells well.

curlew, sandpipers

Also reminiscent of the coast is the eye-catching, clever and quirky work of Michael Lythgoe.   My particular favourite is ‘Curlew sandpiper with wee blue fish’.  Michael has a unusual background for an artist. He was born in Liverpool in 1950 and after an engineering apprenticeship he joined the Merchant Navy in 1970 as a Junior Officer. Later he and his wife, Carol-Anne, emigrated to Canada where he spent many hours photographing birds.

His beautiful carvings are made primarily from American Red Cedar, chosen for its attractive grain and stability. Artist acrylics are then applied and sealed with a wax finish which preserves and enhances the results. His first Exhibition at the William Marler Gallery in Cirencester in 1989 was a sell-out and he has gone from strength to strength. In 1989 he won the European Decoy Carving Championship, which he clearly deserved.

Michael’s work has been described as ‘fluid, curvaceous and calming. I agree!

In this Exhibition there are excellent paintings by other major artists, among others, John Bellany and as ever, this Open Eye Exhibition is well worth a visit.

Open Eye Gallery
34 Abercromby Place,
Edinburgh EH3 6QE

Telephone 0131 557 1020

email – mail@openeyegallery.co.uk


Published by

Christine Richard OBE FRSA

http://www.lothianlife.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Christine.jpg Christine has over 25 years' experience in public life in Scotland in the fields of politics, education, public relations and charity work. For 12 years she served on the City of Edinburgh District Council and was her Group's leader for 4 years. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1992 she was made an OBE. Christine is a member of the Board of The Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy. She has just completed six years on the Board of The Edinburgh International Festival. Christine's business experience has covered the fields of theatre, economic development, science, coal mining, education and training. She has held a number of non-executive directorships in these disciplines. She is a trained and experienced personal relationships counsellor and a business and personal mentor. In 2005 Christine established Christine Richard Associates who undertake Event Management and Public Relations as well as company and individual profiling. She coordinated the 'Yes to Edinburgh' campaign on congestion charging in Edinburgh. ten years ago Christine co-founded West Lothian Women in Business, which is a network for women who are self-employed and also for women managers. Christine has now stepped down from the Chair of this thriving organisation. For 5 years Christine was a magistrate in the District Court. She was also a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on the appointment of Justices of the Peace. She has been an adviser to Government in various areas of policy, including health, local government and education. Christine is a trained and experienced radio and television broadcaster and writer as well as an entertaining and accomplished speaker. She has a wealth of topics on which she is invited to speak. These range from witty after lunch and after dinner speaking to the more serious topics of the economy, health, education, enterprise, the Powers of the Mind and Life/work balance. She writes reviews and articles for lifestyle magazine, Lothian Life. She took part as a contestant in an ITV gourmet TV show, Chef V Britain, challenging TV chef Gino D'Acampo to cook her signature dish, Posh Cottage Pie. Currently Christine is a member of the Goodison Group in Scotland and Scotland's Futures. Also she is involved in the group Changing the Chemistry of Scottish Boards. Her first novel, Whitewalls, a modern Scottish family saga has been published by New Generation Publishing and is available on all internet books siets and from libraries. She is writing a sequel Autumn at Whitewalls. Her leisure interests include her family, literature, music, theatre, food, wine and horse racing. She is a member of a racing syndicate, which has two horses in training.

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