Artists attending Bridge House Art School portfolio course in Ullapool carry on painting to overcome lockdown challenges as work set for virtual exhibition in association with An Talla Solais
It was about keeping calm and keep painting for artists embroiled in the second coronavirus lockdown while taking a prestigious Ullapool portfolio course.
The fruits of their labor over the past four months will be unveiled to a much wider audience than they expected on Saturday when a storefront of the An Talla Solais gallery goes virtual.
Bridge House Art School was determined to move forward, and some of the work by budding artists between the ages of 57 and 66 inevitably reflects life in Lockdown.
The course started on time in October with Eleanor White, director determined to lead it despite the challenges of the pandemic. After 25 years of the course attended by students from all over Scotland and beyond, many of whom have become full-fledged artists, it was time to adapt!
With precautionary measures, it was almost normal from October to December.
It became a virtual event from Boxing Day Lockdown, artists who were in the area using kitchens or spare rooms to keep creating.
In a makeshift studio they even worked on two-meter-long canvases.
The tutors continued to provide dedicated online support to Ms. White, who is based in the village of Wester Ross, and delivered art supplies and cakes.
One of the students, Rachael Dixey, said: “The exhibition is called Emerge to reflect the emergence of the students as artists and also the emergence of society from a terrible time with hope for the future. It shows that even in lockdown it is possible to make them. ” art. A Talla Solais will hold a virtual start. We are delighted that the Patron of An Talla Solais, renowned Scottish artist Professor Will Maclean MBE, kindly agreed to speak at the launch. “
The link for the online exhibition is https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/emerge-bridge-house-art-portfolio-course-exhibition-opening-tickets-142684726859?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch
About the artists
Rachael Dixey: “Bridge House Art has changed my life and developed skills that will allow me to reinvent myself as an artist after a career in public health and retire from professor of health promotion. I live in a rural part of North Yorkshire and although I love the scenery, I was drawn to the human figure and the movement and vibrancy of people as the focus of my art. I enjoyed watching people in Ullapool and then drawing them as they go about their daily lives – walking the dog, shopping, waiting and capturing human interaction at this strangest time was a real experience. “
Find out why she was referred to as “the secret draftsman” in Ullapool
Jane Greenstreet: “Mother of four, dancer and teacher, I started the portfolio course as a beginner but with a strong interest in the arts. I live on the Isle of Arran with my husband. All of my work explores the language of the body through drawing, printing and sculpture. I was particularly interested in conveying the tension we all experience between our weaknesses and strengths. “
Catherine Huntley: “I was a professional florist, fabric designer and interior designer. Maybe it was inevitable that one day I would take a paintbrush. I was tutored first by a watercolourist. I was bitten. I took the opportunity to work with a number of teachers from various disciplines, but it was time to define my direction of travel and settle down. Eleanor White and Kittie Jones were instrumental in this role.
“I will never be a figurative painter in the clinical representation of the subject, nor will I be interested in the purest interpretation of the abstract school. But I want my art to be a product borrowed from these two genres. I would like to record Events. Those who are sad, happy, humorous and awkward – they all inspire me and I am indebted to Bridge House Arts for their gentle and scholarly encouragement towards this end. “
Stephen M Redpath: “I live in rural Aberdeenshire. My first love was nature and I spent 30 years studying wildlife and landscapes before finally starting my painting in 2019. The inspiration for my art still comes from observing nature. I applied for Bridge House Art’s portfolio course for a variety of reasons, including its excellent reputation and a desire to learn to paint with oils. Before that I had worked with watercolor. My first exhibition was in September 2020 at the Tolquhon Gallery in Aberdeen Shire. “
Debbie Shepherd: “I’m based in Fort William, where we moved many years ago to immerse yourself in beautiful scenery and work in outdoor education. After a lifelong lesson, it was time to focus on my art and the portfolio course enabled me to do so. After An Talla Solais’ studio closed after Christmas, I decided to return home to continue my landscape aches and pains. It’s less fun to work alone when you can’t share ideas, but I’m happy to be surrounded by a similarly inspiring landscape that is the stimulus for my pictures. I enjoyed using oils to capture the amazing colors of the highlands. “
Maggie Smith: “I have always loved to do and enjoyed experimenting with textiles, fibers and glass. I chose the BHA portfolio course to achieve a structured foundation in art, especially drawing and painting The course was an exceptional learning experience. I was exploring new media and looking forward to producing my first pictures.
“For this exhibition, I decided to examine markings and textures with white and black acrylic paint. I enjoyed the stark contrast between these two extremes. I captured motifs that I associate with Ullapool: gables, roofs, horizons and reflections, the I have cut or scratched I became increasingly interested in the idea of shelter, with a desire for deep foundations and strong roofs to protect us from the storms. I am a Belfast resident and have officially been a senior official who advised and advised ministers ensured implementation of government policy. “
Penny Wemyss: “I live and work in Glasgow and have spent the past 28 years in the financial services industry while practicing my arts in my spare time. I enrolled in the Bridge House Art Portfolio Course to explore and develop more expressive art to create art that captures the mood, passion and energy of the subject without losing sight of the picture in front of me. My passion for the landscape remains my constant inspiration for painting. This course has helped me develop my work process, going from the first observational studies collected by being physically out of the landscape to the studio where experimentation and exploration allow me to create an expressive and emotional piece of work to feel and create. The course was a life changing experience and I will be returning to Glasgow to do my art full time. “
You can find the link to the show here.
A secret draftsman emerges from the shadows in Ullapool