s

Blog

Still Life with Dove

Francis Boag: Still life with dove

'Still life with dove' is a painting which, as is common with a lot of my work, combines bits of direct observation and other bits dredged up from my ‘memory bank’.

This painting is unusual in that it started life as an exercise at a workshop session. Not one of my own workshops, but every so often when I get a bit stir crazy working alone in the studio, I join an old friend Bobby at a workshop he attends run by artist, Susan Winton at her studio gallery near Pittenweem.

The company is always good and there is a nice atmosphere, very conducive to making work. The fact that there are unlimited chocolate biscuits and wine with a superb lunch only adds to the attraction.

Susan usually has a theme and several ‘props’ scattered around the studio. The red plant pot, pears, table, blue jug and most importantly the chocolate cake were all painted on the day.

The single rose, sunflowers and caged bird were all added the following day in my own studio. This was how the painting looked after day two. I then revisited it the next day and that is the finished painting which you can see in the Summer Exhibition at the Gullane Gallery in the summer.

I would advise anyone on a Painting workshop to follow my example, don't try to finish your  painting on the day.  Take it home, sleep on it and finish it the next day (or as soon as you have time).

Francis 

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

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

 

Francis

Winter Hills Dunoon

 

My normal method of beginning a painting is to create as much excitement as I can with liquid paint applied in bold strokes and splashes. Most of the time, this is then refined and painted over as the painting progresses, but I always try to retain some of the original marks as they are usually the most freely painted and full of energy.

However, in this painting I was so pleased and excited with the qualities of the early stages of the work, I determined to leave as much as I could in the finished piece. I anticipated some difficulty in resolving the completed work with a recognisable landscape element, but knew instinctively that the transition between the two areas would be a river bank.

My first thoughts were to integrate the coast at Cowie in Stonehaven, as seen from the harbour area, but then another image began to insinuate itself into my thoughts and I decided to go with that.

Several years ago, I was given the use of a cottage on the Cowal peninsula by a gallery in Glasgow, who were hoping it would inspire me to paint some west coast landscapes. We had a lovely family holiday and I did manage a few paintings from my travels round the local area.

The view in this painting is my memory of the ferry journey across to Dunoon, which we took a couple of times towards the end of the day. It is now quite a few years since I made that journey, and I am not sure why it popped into my head, when I was contemplating this canvas.

However, I have learned over the years to trust that 'wee inner voice' and so 'Winter Hills, Dunoon' was the result.

Francis