Medium: Oil on board
Size: 41.0cm x 61.0cm (16″ x 24″)
Stuart Buchanan's 'plein air' landscape paintings are a direct response to his immediate environment. Working from the easel just outside his studio which looks back across the bay to Catterline village and the farmland beyond. The "South row" in the titles refer to the old row of cottages at that end of the village. The months listed in the titles determine when the paintings were made. Over time the paintings become a record of the changing seasons.
Catterline is an old fishing village perched high above a horseshoe bay, overlooking the North Sea, in Aberdeenshire. With its rugged rather than picturesque beauty, the attraction for artists is obvious. In fact, renowned artists have been coming here since the 1950s. In that time the “Watchie” a 200 year old customs and excise house, has been used as a studio, hosting almost seventy years of continous creative practice. It is off-road and off grid, contemplative and quiet, unless it’s stormy, as it sits out on a headland just north of the village.
Prior to settling here, I’d been coming to Catterline to visit and stay with relatives since I was a teenager and perhaps I had always wanted to come and live here. Many years later and I have been painting in the ‘Watchie’ now for twelve years, after relocating from Glasgow to undertake a two year artist residency in Aberdeen in 2006.
The was a shift in my painting practice about a year and a half ago when the need for a more direct, expressive and painterly approach to my work was resolved by dragging the easel and the palette out of the studio and painting literally what was on my doorstep. This need has been growing in me for a long time, but l resisted for numerous reasons, not least because I had a succesful and identifiable body of work that was widely exhibited, and other notable artists had made paintings of Catterline their subject. But I am in Catterline and Catterline is where and what I want to paint. The results have been a much more rewarding process for me. I feel renewed energy and urgency and the paintings have become more about the moment, the seasons and most of all, about the paint.
Stuart Buchanan 30th June 2020
South Row Mid-October by Stuart Buchanan
Stuart Buchanan was born in Glasgow in 1970. In 1992 he graduated from Glasgow School of Art, having studied Fine Art Drawing and Painting. He has been a professional artist since 1993.
Stuart Buchanan currently lives and paints full time in the village of Catterline, Aberdeenshire. His studio is an old Customs and excise Watch house cottage perched high on a cliff overlooking the North Sea.