Specialist Highlights | Scottish Contemporary Art, 27 September

The market for Scottish Contemporary Art has never been better, and this month we have a mammoth sale of over 400 pictures from some of the finest names in Scottish art, so there is something to suit every taste.



June 2020 saw the death of one Scotland’s most respected landscape painters, but Tom Shank’s watercolours will continue to delight each time they grace our gallery walls for many years to come. Loch Ailort demonstrates Shank’s mastery in watercolour. He had a particular talent for capturing the shifting clouds over Scotland’s wild vistas and the pencil detail of the rolling hills demonstrates his superb draughtsmanship.




Bellany’s strong connection with the sea stayed with him for his whole life, and he continued to paint coastal and harbour scenes in a variety of media, often with haunting yet humorous figures. The symbolic placement of the fish is a classic Bellany trope and this is a fresh and vibrant oil with warm hues of orange, yellow and red with blue contrasts, which signifies the transition into a brighter phase of the artist’s life.





Although painted in 1995, this picture will resonate with many tenement dwelling Glaswegians who turned to allotments and shared green spaces during the recent pandemic. Paton’s work from the 1990s rarely appear at auction, and last month’s Scottish Contemporary Art Auction saw Topping Out Day sell for £8,000, a new auction record price for the artist. This picture is from the same time period and the same collection and will surely generate much interest on the view.




Howson is never one to shy away from self-reflection, and this self-portrait is a fine example of the artist’s figurative skills. A powerful and intimate portrait, this 2001 piece relates closely to the central figures in two of Howson’s epic large-scale pieces. The First Step and The Third Step – from around the same period: a series which chronicles the artist's struggles with addiction through a hedonistic lifestyle, prior to converting to Christianity and his subsequent recovery. The artist depicts himself cautiously glancing at the observer, vulnerable and exposed.





Carnations in the Studio is a delightful still life by contemporary artist Mary Davidson, whose fluid style has seen her exhibit with many prestigious public exhibitions such as the Royal Glasgow Institute, and the Glasgow Society of Women Artists. Davidson’s expressive manner is evident in this piece and her subtle colour tones demonstrate her modern and painterly style.




The contours and changing light sequences in Pam Carter’s work is instantly recognisable, and lot 744 is a fine example of the much-loved artist’s work. Scotland’s west coast has been a continuing source of inspiration for Carter, and her use of strong colours capture the land’s serene and mesmerising shores.


Click here to full the auction catalogue. >>

Jenny MacLeod


If you have pictures you wish to sell, please contact pictures@mctears.co.uk



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