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The Prelude

Brushstrokes of Summer's End

Step into a world where figures come alive and abstractions ignite the imagination! Join us at Atholl Gallery for a journey through the realms of mixed media masterpieces that beautifully blend the human form with abstract concepts. As summer draws to a close, immerse yourself in the works of our featured artists, each renowned for their ability to blur the lines between reality and imagination. Engage with their creative processes, gain insight into their inspirations, and discover the stories that infuse life into their art.

Paintings may be reserved for pre-sale. Please contact the gallery for details.

Richard Wiatrek

Richard’s work has evolved from early art college figurative painting through abstraction in the seventies and, from the late seventies, back to the figurative. Abstract/non objective painting taught him much about space and shape and the delicate balance between them. He aims for his painting to still retain the stillness that comes from that balance. Richard combines ordinary people with ordinary and imaginary scapes to create work which he hopes makes the viewer think and dream. For Richard, each work has specific and vague meanings which arise from its conception and the process of its making. The title he gives to each painting can help point the viewer in at least one direction but should not always be taken too literally. He considers himself to be a 'symbolist' in that the figures and objects portrayed often have more than one significance. Always he hopes that his work pleases the eye but also stimulates the mind.

John Bell

John was born in Dundee in 1972 and was brought up in the nearby coastal town of Broughty Ferry attending Grove Academy. He then went on to study illustration at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, graduating in 1994. “I am a keen hillwalker and I enjoy the landscape and as such I tend to spend a lot of my spare time outdoors, but as a landscape painter I really relish the opportunities (excuses) to take trips around the Scottish Highlands and coasts scouring the countryside for subjects like ruined cottages or castles or old abandoned boats. These are the subjects I am drawn to- subjects that are aging or decayed,something that feels like it has a past history. Subjects like that often compliment the landscape where I find them. An old boat often makes a harbour even more interesting as does a ruined cottage in the middle of a bog“ John has simplified many aspects of his paintings to allow the detail in the subject to be the focus. His paintings are acrylics on various boards. John now lives on the Carse of Gowrie surrounded by the fields of rural Perthshire.

Joan Gillespie

Born in Dundee in 1954, Joan Gillespie studied painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art Dundee and completed her Diploma course at Edinburgh College of Art. She had an affinity for the works of some of the Impressionists, the Nabis, the Newlyn School, the Glasgow Boys and the Scottish Colourists. Composition, paint quality and colour distribution in painting are very important to her. Her works are in the collection of Lord McFarlane of Bearsden, Trinity International Holdings and in private collections in Spain, Australia and USA. Joan Gillespie has exhibited in galleries throughout Scotland since 1987, including the Macaulay Gallery in East Lothian, The Open Eye and Flying Colours Galleries in Edinburgh, the Atholl Gallery in Dunkeld and the Contemporary Fine Art Gallery in Eton. Her paintings have been hung in the Royal Scottish Academy, The Royal Glasgow Institute, The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours and the Society of Scottish Artists and Artist Craftsmen. She was a finalist in the Morrison Portrait Competition in 1991 at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, as well as a finalist in the Laing Landscape Competition 1992 at the Mall Galleries, London.

Janet McCrorie

Originally from Lanarkshire, Janet now lives in East Lothian and works from a studio in her home. She had been an Arts and Crafts teacher for many years before focusing on the development of her own work. This led to her studying painting with The Open College of the Arts and further studying Abstract Painting and Figurative Painting at Leith School of Art. Now, painting full time, her main theme is Scottish dancers. She uses mixed media and vibrant colours aiming to capture the unique look of tartan and the joyful exuberance and movement of the dancing. Working from sketches and photographs, taken while attending Scottish dancing events, she creates a sense of nostalgia while putting a modern twist on these ancient, traditional dances. Her paintings can be seen in many galleries in Scotland and are currently being used to illustrate The Annual Review for The Royal Scottish Country Dancing Society, which has a worldwide membership.

Aileen Neillie

Aileen Neillie is a graduate from Glasgow School of Art (1991 – 1995) with a BA (hons) in Sculptural Ceramics. She currently lives and works in the Highlands. Much of her 2D work relates to the textures and surfaces visible in her Ceramics. Neillie regards herself as a mixed media artist and has an interest in the way in which materials react and respond to each other, continuously working in an experimental manner. She initially works from a source which is taken due to the potential meaning or symbolism of the object. She abstracts and distorts the shape in order that the viewer is challenged to consider the concept. Her new pieces of work are centred on personal experiences and how behaviours passed down from the generation before, based on social norms and acceptability, impacts upon the freedom to be ourselves. This is shown in the use of text as well as in the layering of panels used to demonstrates the idea of metaphorically being “held down” as if drowning, hence, the use of the lungs and chest.

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