Two artists whose work evokes the power of northern landscapes through watercolour.
Peter Davis, who is based in Shetland, and Susan Macintosh, who lives in the north east of Scotland, both use watercolours enhanced with natural pigments, chalk and inks to explore the light, weather, rock and earth of their respective landscapes. The results are simple and graceful.
Both artists are attuned to the nature of watercolour as a medium and what can be achieved when the relationship between paper, pigment and water is allowed to behave by its own rules.
Peter, who has exhibited widely across Scotland for more than 30 years, describes his continuing development with a medium that has a reputation for being exacting. "The process of watercolour, the effects it produces, and its symbiotic relationship with the natural world fascinates me. Watercolour plays by nature’s rules; it obeys gravity, in most cases, flows, puddles, desiccates, and finally dries.”
He concludes that while he uses various methods in his work to produce effects on the pigment and paper there is always an element when “watercolour with its characteristically unpredictable behaviour does the rest.”
The pair are showing a combination of new and older work inspired by their surroundings. Although they haven't previously worked together, Susan also speaks of the specifc nature of watercolour and its extraordinary quality. "Zen Buddhist art manages to capture that evergy - its brushwork renders in the vitality of marks the very quality of the its subject's essential character," she says.
As well as the 'stillness and flow' between the materials the artists use - the wet and dry, the bringing together of elements - Susan says the landscapes she paints also contain these qualities. "Feeling the flow of energies from deep with the earth pushing up and similarly, energetic particles reaching us from deep space, interpenetrating us and the world. The seeming stillness of mountains and continents is actually a flow. The apparent motionless stone, a dynamic movement of atoms when viewed from a different perspective."