And what a show it was! She was prolific, and expansive - I was amazed at the number of paintings which were gathered here from many sources, both public and private, and the scale of many of the paintings was fantastic: huge expansive seascapes like the one at the end of this blog, with layer upon layer of paint and rich textures like you can't believe, and these paintings of people, especially the children. We were all in reverent awe of what we were seeing!
This is the front cover of the exhibition brochure and shows a large detail from "Children and Chalked Wall No.3" painted in oils with newspaper and metal foil collaged on canvas, 1963. The full picture of these two pals measures 61x68.6cm. A total inspiration with it's textures and colours.
If the previous painting was inspiring then what does that make this picture at 101x179cm painted in 1960 called: "Glasgow Back Street with Children Playing". For me this was the best in the show not just because of it's size but the complex interlocking of shapes and colour of the kids playing in the street just as I did as a child. This brings it all back for me. You can almost hear the laughter and the noise and the fun!
The Samson Family: Joan painted this group of children, individually and together, many times. This is a brilliant photo of them standing together in Eardley's studio. The little girl front right is Pat Samson who features by herself as "Little Girl with a Squint". Only recently did the media find some of these kids grown up now and let us hear their own memories of posing for Eardley. Fascinating insights!
Finally, this is an example of one of her seascapes:"Foam and Blue Sky" painted at Catterline in the North East of Scotland just south of Aberdeen where she stayed for a number of years towards the end of her short life. There are so many fantastic seascapes like this with it's grandeur, colour, textures, and movement I would like to show all of them but the best thing would be for anyone interested to get a hold of the brochure for themselves. It is a very high quality publication with great colour photos and only cost £9.95. Astonishing! It is published by National galleries of Scotland, ISBN 978 1 906270 04 9.
So what a day! It was wonderful, if a bit exhausting, to travel through to Auld Reekie, have our lunch in Harvey Nicks with an excellent glass of wine, and then get a look at this fantastic exhibition. My feelings as we came out were, as usual, very mixed: on the one hand I was, of course, inspired beyond doubt but also a bit deflated by my own inability to do anything anywhere near this quality standard Eardley has set for us. Having now seen these paintings 'up close and personal', many for the first time, I am in sheer awe and admiration of this womans fabulous talent. Well done Joan - you are one of the very finest painters that Scotland and even the world has ever produced. You are my hero!