Mearns lighthouse takes centre stage at North-east exhibition

A painting of a Mearns lighthouse takes centre stage in a new North-east exhibition by top Scottish artist John Lowrie Morrison (known as ‘Jolomo’).

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 12:00 am
'Big Storm, The Todhead Light, Aberdeenshire’ was painted from memories of a stormy boat trip.

Visitors from all over the North-east have been flocking to the Tolquhon Gallery, Tarves, since it opened its doors to visitors again on May 1 with From Kintyre to the Isles, a show of 45 new paintings

‘Big Storm, The Todhead Light, Aberdeenshire’ was painted from memories of a stormy boat trip John took to see the lighthouse some years ago.

He said: “It was during the winter and the sky suddenly blackened with a massive storm, although the sun was still there in the middle of it. The colours were great - the green and pink in the sky. I have a photographic memory and remember it exactly.

“A stormy day is always more interesting to paint than a sunny day. People say to me, ‘It’s a lovely day today, you’ll be wanting to get outside with your easel.’ But, actually, I prefer stormy weather.

“The weather changes the colour and the light giving you colours like green, pink and magenta in the sky. A lot of the paintings in this new exhibition are stormy ones.”

John has been painting throughout lockdown in his Argyll studio and says that being relatively free of distractions has given him space to explore new directions in his work, including his love of stormy weather.

He said: “Painting the light is really important to me, but recently I’ve started painting what the weather does to the light. On a stormy day, you can see the weather moving across the sky and the colours can be incredible.”

Jolomo’s best-selling Scottish landscapes in high-key colour made for a high-profile re-opening for the popular gallery, and opening day was so busy visitors were advised to book a slot in advance.

Joan Ross, Tolquhon Gallery owner , said: “We could not think of a better show with which to re-open. Digital images are no substitute for seeing paintings in reality, especially with such an artist like John, who revels in colour and thickly applied oils.

“We’re delighted to be open again and we have a lot of interest so far. Many people have commented on how much better it is to see the paintings in the flesh. It is wonderful to be able to witness the joy his paintings bring.”