Art club in frame for success at exhibition

Hawick Art Club president Elizabeth Jackson and wildlife artist Chris Rose
Hawick Art Club president Elizabeth Jackson and wildlife artist Chris Rose

HAWICK Art Club’s annual exhibition at the museum has been hailed as a breath of fresh air by internationally-acclaimed wildlife artist Chris Rose.

Opening the show in front of a large company, all of whom had been invited to Sunday’s private view, Chris also said he admired the wide variety of subjects, depicted in many different styles, and commended the encouragement of a younger generation of artists through the club’s competition for S1 and S2 pupils at the high school, whose winning pictures have been framed and are on display in the exhibition.

This year’s show features 157 entries, including four wood carvings by Alex Burgon, mainly of local monuments such as The Horse statue.

Flower paintings are, as usual, well represented. When you enter the Scott Gallery your eye is immediately caught by Michael Booth’s striking painting, Dahlia Blooms, on the back wall. The vibrantly-coloured flowers seem to leap out of the canvas. In Hot Bed, the artist achieves a similar 3D effect with a flowerbed full of bright blooms. Jane Delavigne’s botanical painting, entitled Early Autumn, is meticulously observed and skilfully executed. M. Helen Tyler uses a free style of painting to produce her decorative watercolours, Field Edge under the Moon and Hedgerow Flower under the Sun.

There are a wide variety of animal and bird paintings on show. With a few simple strokes, Carol Boyd captures the alertness of hares in The Sentinel and The General, while Anne Gray has produced two charming watercolours on wood depicting favourite garden birds – Thrush Posing! and Robin Redbreast. Audrey Hatton’s pastel Long Eared Owl is striking, as is Davie Robertson’s pencil drawing Lord of the Mist, depicting a magnificent stag. Iona MacNeill’s paintings of tigers – Sumatran Tiger and Bengal Tiger – communicate the forceful and enigmatic nature of these beautiful animals.

Landscapes feature strongly, too. Rose Hughes uses soft hues in Loch Alsh to capture the tranquil mood of this Highland scene. Summer at the Beach is a delightful, impressionistic seascape by Margaret Boyd. Janet Irons, who is the winner of this year’s club bursary award for the best fine art student at Borders College, also finds inspiration at the seaside for her colourful Holiday Huts.

There are also a number of townscapes on show, with Michael Armstrong’s St Mary’s from old railway being a finely-detailed example. The thought-provoking paintings of Alice Macdonald – Agony in Ox and Dreamtime in Ox – are a complete contrast.

Once again, the club’s annual exhibition, which runs until July 30 (Monday-Friday 10am-noon and 1pm-5pm, Saturday-Sunday 2pm-5pm), provides an excellent and varied show with something to appeal to everyone.

n AT THE club’s recent annual general meeting, Elizabeth Jackson was returned as president, with Sheila Marshall as vice-president, Jane Cochrane honorary treasurer, and Robert Craig honorary secretary. The committee is as follows; Gladys Tait, Patsy Holmes, Michael Armstrong, Liz Reece Heal and Sophy Delavigne.