Artist focus

Artists Focus.

Our artists focus section will see greater development in future weeks and months. If you have an interest in or would like to know more about a particular artist or work that you have seen on display in the gallery then please do share that with us. You can do so by sending us email. See our contacts page for details.

.......... Our first focus article

Spotlight: ‘Autumn Craigdarroch’ by Melville Brotherston

At Ottersburn, we hope not only to celebrate the work of our region’s artists, but to reveal a little bit about the artistic process. What challenges do artists face? Which materials do they favour? What is the story behind each work?

We were privileged to speak with Melville Brotherston, who agreed to give us just such an insight into a signature piece from Ottersburn Gallery’s opening exhibition. Melville’s oil painting ‘Autumn Craigdarroch’ is in the Gallery now, and has a fascinating back story.

Melville tells us: “The oil ‘Autumn Craigdarroch’ was worked over the top of an oil completed in 1996, soon after I moved to the Mill Studio, Moniaive. The original subject was Craigdarroch Burn, based on a sketch in pencil done in the evening in autumn. (See pencil sketch of Craigdarroch Burn.) 

See pencil sketch of Craigdarroch Burn.

The original oil was shown in a solo exhibition which I had at the Tollbooth Gallery, Kirkcudbright in 1997. The colour was muted and I never was completely satisfied with it. I considered reworking the painting in much brighter colour and with more energy. Consequently, I did a smaller version in oil in 2012.

(See 2012 oil.) 

The colour in this, second, oil is brighter and more expressive. I felt, however, that it, too, was not saying exactly what I wanted.

Finally, in the summer of 2013 I decided to rework the first, large painting ‘Autumn Craigdarroch’, using a very bright colour, and painting with large brushes. In my opinion the bold brush marks, strongly contrasted colours and minimal detail produced the energy and impact that I had been seeking. The colour yellow and its opposite in the colour spectrum – violet – enhance the quality of each other. The final oil was part of the invited, joint exhibition I had with Bill Pryde at Bonhams in Edinburgh, in November 2013. The painting was very well received."

‘Autumn Craigdarroch’ is available for sale, price £2,000 through Ottersburn Gallery. You can contact Sean at the Gallery to arrange a viewing of this work, or see our opening times.

Ottersburn Gallery and Picture Framing, 2A Nith Avenue. Dumfries DG1 1EF Telephone 01387 269 156