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Blair Atholl

This painting is another case of a carefree day out providing unlikely inspiration.

My wife, Teresa, is passionate about horses and persuaded me I would enjoy a day at the International Horse Trials at Blair Atholl. And she was right, I did, however, like all these big sporting events, as well as the horses, there was a large tented village thronged with people and selling everything from AGA cookers to Alpaca mittens. It was quite a dull day and in contrast to the bustle of the areas, Blair Atholl Castle could just be been seen rising through the mist like something from Brigadoon.

As the mist cleared, the whitewashed building set against the backdrop of dark, brooding hills, looked like it was made of icing sugar. As usual, I wasn't thinking about making a painting, but the very next day in the studio, the idea of a painting showing the contrast between the cool, crisp vision of the castle in its natural surroundings and the hot, hustle and bustle of the tented village just jumped out almost fully- formed.

Francis

Open Studio Weekend: April 8th & 9th 2017

If your memory is better than mine you may recall receiving a similar invitation to this just over a year ago.

The event in 2016 seemed by all accounts to be very well received so I have decided to repeat the same format for a ‘Meet the Artist’ event on the weekend of April 8th and 9th 2017.

I have been working my socks off over this exceedingly mild winter and this will be a first chance to see the fruits of my labours.

I hope everyone who joined me last year enjoyed it enough to want come along again and we look forward to welcoming many new faces.

As well as a large body of brand new original paintings, BoagArt Publishing will also be launching two very different print ranges, and once again there will be a selection of books, cards and small framed prints.

We will be open Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm.

Full details of the event will also be on the Boagart Publishing website and Facebook page.

My address is:

Old Mill Steading
Home Farm
Ury Estate
Stonehaven
AB39 3ST
Tel. 01569 762764

For directions to the Ury Estate see below.

The only way into the Ury Estate at the moment is via the Slug road.

Follow signs to Banchory B957.

As you leave  Stonehaven, after about a mile, on your right, you will see a blue sign saying ‘FM Ury Estate; Blue Lodge’. That is the entrance to the estate.

You should pass over two-speed bumps spaced a few yards apart and 50 yards further on, at a granite roadside sign saying  'Ury Home Farm’ take a left turn.

Follow the road round and we are the last house on the right.

Find me on -

TWITTER: @FrancisBoag
INSTAGRAM: @francisboag
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/boagartpublishing
TUMBLR: www.francisboagart.tumblr.com

Look forward to seeing you all. 

Francis 

 

Pop Art

I first wrote this blog exactly ten years ago and I wanted to share it with you all after deciding to release a limited number of pop art prints on my website...

The weather over the past couple of weeks has been appalling and while it’s nice to be inside my warm, cosy studio while it’s pelting down outside the light has been so poor that it has made painting very difficult.

Trying to find just the right temperature of colour for a particular passage in a painting is hard enough at the best of times but in this prevailing gloom, it has become almost impossible. As well as the poor light I’ve been suffering a touch of ‘artist’s block’. Not entirely surprising as I have been working continually on back to back shows since May of last year.

I spent a couple of idle days reading Len Dighton…again.  Does anyone know why he isn’t writing any new books?

Maybe it was the setting of the book ‘Horse under Water’, which I first read while at Dundee Art College in the sixties, but I began to wonder what I would be painting if I was 19 again?

So indulging myself, I knocked off the three images you see here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first one was, ‘Marilyn’ which obviously owes more than a little credit to Andy Warhol but hopefully has enough of ‘Boag’ in it, followed by ‘Paul’ and then ‘John’. I had a great time painting them. It was better than a rest and gave me a lot of new ideas for future work.

It also took me full circle as I started my ‘commercial’ art career in 1963 when I would take requests from girls in my class at school to draw pictures of the Beatles.  If my memory holds I think sixpence was the going rate for a pencil drawing with a watercolour retailing at the princely sum of one shilling. Plus ca change.

You can find all my pop art prints available for sale here.

Francis 

The Castle Collection

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position on the Castle Rock. By its very nature it imposes itself upon the surrounding landscape, and looking up it seems to fill the very sky.

My early attempts  to capture this feeling featured the most common viewpoint from Princes Street but, I was soon looking for alternative viewpoints such as, the view from the approach to the Grassmarket.

Other vantage points which stand out are looking across from the terrace at Harvey Nichols or the Tower restaurant in the Chambers Street Museum.

Edinburgh Castle, Evening

In the paintings of this and other Scottish Castles, I enjoy exaggerating the contrast between a very free, fluid interpretation of the area below the Castle, while using a ruler and mapping pen to create almost an Architect's drawing of the Castle structure.

I also strive not to be too influenced by the 'local colour' but to experiment with colour as an emotional response to what is one of Scotland's great landmarks and a scene whose impact is never less than highly dramatic.

Edinburgh Castle, Witchery

From One Artist to Another...

One of the main reasons for starting a blog was to encourage feedback from anyone who enjoyed my work. Like most artists I know insecurity and doubt are always round the corner and it's a real pick-me-up to be reminded that someone, somewhere is responding to what you're trying to do.

It is even more rewarding when other artists take the time to pass on their compliments and regards. I’m old enough, not to take the web for granted and to still be amazed when an email arrives from New Zealand or California or Malta.

These are all exotic, far-away places to me and it comes as a surprise to realise that my representations of the east-coast, Scottish landscape can resonate in such far-flung corners of the globe.

I recently received a mail that truly astonished me from an artist in Sudan and I’d like to share it with you here:

name : Faisal Tajalsir

enquiry : I just wanted to express my deep admiration with your works..and as an artist I was greatly inspired by them..god bless you..if you are interested in seeing som Sudanese art please visit my blog at fandos.maktoobblog.com.


Sadly, Sudan and Darfur are regularly in the news with the situation in Darfur being called by the United Nations ’the greatest humanitarian disaster of our time’. The constant barrage of ‘bad news stories' from the region can blind you to the fact that ‘normal’ life is still going on. But the environmental, cultural, religious and economic background of someone from Sudan could hardly be more removed from my own experience and it was truly humbling to realise that an artist from this background could find something in my work which spoke directly to him.

I made contact with Faisal and asked him to send me some images of his paintings. This he did and again I was astonished and amazed. I felt a real kinship with his work and felt we were on parallel tracks both seeking, in our different ways, similar solutions to the questions we ask ourselves.

As my work is now easily available in prints and cards quite a few artists use it as a starting point for their own work and I have no problem with that, but I felt that Faisal’s work was more like a sibling than an offspring. You can use this link to see more of his work and I will be contacting him for biographical details to include with the paintings so he can have a ‘mini website’ to promote his work.

I’m sure you’ll agree that it is great to have a ‘good news’ story from a troubled region and I would love to hear what you think of Faisal's work. I will also be happy to pass on any mail or indeed requests for paintings.

Francis

Photo credit: Faisal Tajalsir

Inspiration

I first wrote this nearly 20 years ago as part of my application for the M.A. Course at Grays and reading it again I'm struck by how much it still informs my work today.

In my work, I am trying to evoke in the viewer, a childhood memory of a day or a long forgotten moment, and to reawaken the sense of pleasure and lost innocence this memory brings.

I hope to achieve this response through a combination of visual references, intellectual elements and emotional triggers.

In the paintings, the visual references are the trees, cottages, dykes ( stone walls ) birds, sheep, cows and so on, which I interpret in a naïve simplified style.

The intellectual element is the sense of it being a visual record of an actual place i.e. Cookney or Glen Isla and the emotional triggers are chiefly the expressive, vibrant colour I use, but the texture, shapes and rhythmic 'marks' I make as the painting develops are also important.

In my current work, I am slowly working toward diminishing the intellectual elements, refining and simplifying the visual references and trying to rely more on the emotional triggers, to elicit a response.

My aim is to make work, which will impact on the person seeing it in a sense similar to that felt on listening to a familiar or favourite piece of music.

Francis