Monday, May 4, 2015

April in Britain and France: Part Three: Glasgow


 Shop fronts, West End, Glasgow, oil on card, 14 x 15.5 cm  SOLD

 A close, Glasgow, oil on card, 14 x 16 cm

 A view from the Necropolis, Glasgow, oil on card, 13 x 18 cm

A bridge near Glasgow Green, oil on card, 16 x 13 cm

Factory along the Clyde, Glasgow, oil on card, 15 x 16 cm

I spent five days in Glasgow, mostly in the West End. I'd always felt very ignorant about Glasgow, having grown up and studied in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, and there being a strangely exaggerated antipathy between East and West coast in Scotland, despite, or perhaps because of, their proximity. Most of my thoughts about Glasgow were formed by a few childhood visits, by Frank Kuppner's "A Very Quiet Street", and books about architects Alexander "Greek" Thomson and Charles Rennie  Mackintosh and my notions were somewhat romantic. 

I wasn't disappointed. it's a fine painting city: spaciously laid out with great views. There are few tourists. It doesn't feel like a huge museum, and yet it has a clear identity.The weather was delightful. People left me in peace to work, or were friendly without being overbearing. There are lovely little cafes and places to eat.

It's a  schizophrenic city: the West End and centre is genteel, with magnificent 19th century apartment blocks, museums and charming cafes, while the rest of the city appears to be in a post Imperial, post-industrial condition, with empty land available for construction and a sense of incompletion. This makes it a marvellous subject, and I enjoyed painting from the Necropolis, and along the Clyde.

The first picture is one of the best of this year: economical and cool.


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