An exhibition of Irish landscape watercolours this weekend by Glasgow artist John Taylor comes slightly delayed.
Mr Taylor went to Cill Riallaig, a village restored for use as an artists' colony in a remote peninsula in County Kerry.
The plan was to paint the countryside green with some earthy shades of brown and stone. This proved impossible because of gales, snow and rain. Taylor was as trapped as a Trappist monk in his small cottage. He had to stay in and do still life. A basket of turf, the stove, a table and a chair. He researched the early Christian history and discovered Cill may be a reference to a monastic cell. Taylor thought he might call his collection of Irish cottage still life his Gaun Yer Cell period. Luckily, Taylor went back in good weather and has a rake of watercolours which you can see and maybe purchase this weekend at the Gallowgate Studios in East Campbell Street, Glasgow.
Taylor has previous for landscapes: including his own beloved Ayrshire, stunning walkabout images of Australia, and colourful sand dunes in Gran Canaria. My favourites are his skeletal figures in a post-nuclear setting. It's being so cheerful that keeps me going.
Taylor is a man for walking the landscapes. All of Scotland and big chunks of France, usually in the company of Babbity Bowster publican Fraser Laurie. They retraced Robert Louis Stevenson's travels in the Cevennes and still debate who was the donkey.
When not a dot on the landscape, Taylor is a presence in sundry pubs. He likes to talk and bats away interruption with the phrase: "The fridge door is open." The light is not always on.
This watercolours exhibition marks the 60 years or so Taylor has been doing art. He won't thank me for making reference to a jubilee.
Taylor is not an Establishment man. He was once pounced upon on the High Street in Glasgow by Margaret Thatcher. She was out trying to glad-hand the public. She wanted a photo-op with Taylor and the paintings he was carrying. Short shrift does not fully describe the reaction of the Ayrshire artist to the Prime Minister.
There will be a welcome for the lieges at the Gallowgate Studios (11am-4pm Friday till Monday this weekend) or other days by appointment. John Taylor's fridge door is always open.
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