A bit of change of direction this month. When I originally made my plan for 2019 I was going to focus on reading one of my books on sketching or art techniques each month but as I recently received an Amazon delivery of a new book on Joan Eardley thought I’d do that instead.
Eardley isn’t an artist I knew much about beyond her being one of Scotland’s most famous artists and that she created works that showcased the slums in Glasgow or landscapes of Scotland. In fact I came across her work on Pinterest but was instantly hooked so thought I’d treat myself.
Turns out she was actually born in Sussex but did move to Glasgow after the death of her father who committed suicide and she studied at the Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 1943.
The book is fabulous – it covers both her work in the slums of Townshead, Glasgow as well as her landscapes of the fishing village of Catterline.
Maybe not to everyone’s taste but I love her use of such vivid colours that convey a genuine sense of joy which is in stark contrast to the deprivation and grimness of the run down and derelict scenes of Glasgow – apparently she used to create her pastel works on sandpaper to catch as much of the rich pigment as possible.
And I really like her scratchy style of drawing which gives a real sense of movement and brings her subjects to life.
I also like her subtle use of collage (newsprint and sweet wrappers) which give texture and a sense of time and place. And her work is honest, even down to the titles “Two Children”, “Girl Skipping” “Two Children Before Lettered Wall”.
The book is packed with beautiful prints of her work but also photographs, some she took to use as reference for her work, others like the one below, taken by others.
If you’re a fan of Eardley I’d definitely recommend the book.