Fresh and wide-ranging art on view at library

Early Monrning a watercolour by artist Sheila Baxter.
Early Monrning a watercolour by artist Sheila Baxter.

THIS year’s exhibition by members of Arbroath Art Society is one of the best I have seen for some time, with a freshness about the scope and treatment of exhibits that suggests that if not a new broom, a new brush has been at work!

The exhibition has run for a fortnight in Arbroath Library but ends tomorrow (Saturday) at 4 p.m. It is worth going out of your way to see it.

The special section theme this year, not surprisingly, is ‘Year of the Light’ and there are lighthouses from Lynda Marshall’s eerie ‘Moonlit Lighthouse’ (the same artist’s ‘Misty Moonlight - Auchmithie is also worth a look), to Jean Scott’s stormy ‘Bell Rock Lighthouse’. Agnes Scott’s painting of the Bell Rock Lighthouse on an oval shape is very effective; and Christina Christie’s ‘Neist Point Lighthouse, Skye’, gives a great impression of height.

I also loved Alison Connelly’s cute, stylised little boat, ‘All at Sea’.

But there is much more to this year’s show than the nautical theme, and the first work you come across on entering is Meg Manson’s ‘The Pendie, Arbroath’, described as ‘charcoal/conte’. It merits close inspection.

One of the most eye-catching is Peter Taylor’s oil, bright colours on white backgrounds, ‘Source of Inspiration’. It shows several tubes of oil paints - and a glass of wine. Clearly the source works! The same artist’s ‘A Beautiful Sound’, with a violin’s body and a girl’s face, is another eye-catcher.

Marlene Kear’s watercolour ‘Arbirlot Village’ is so real; and her ‘Gone Poppy’ must have the brightest red I have seen for ages. As a change from artwork, Maureen Kneen’s painted tiles, framed behind glass, are worthy of attention.

Frank McDiarmid’s ‘Lone Tree, Angus’ is exactly that and very well executed; while another member of the McDiarmid clan, Helen, impresses with a seriously bright ‘Keptie Pond from Hillend Road’.

There’s an almost pastel softness about Marianne Nicoll’s ‘Auchmithie Cottages’ - but the medium is acrylic, proving that acrylic is not always the ‘raised voice’ medium.

Yet another that could be picture-of-the-show is Irene Dawson’s sparkling maelstrom, ‘Autumn Wind’, in mixed media. It’s as if a whirlwind has picked up autumn and flung it on to the canvas. Her ‘Late, Lunan Bay’, makes great use of red as a catch-all sunset colour.

Annette Thomson’s ‘Ethie Haven Huts’ are bright and confident, and I hope she didn’t break her car springs on her way to the little bay!

As always, Aileen Simpson’s work is in a class of its own, from the fresh green in ‘Snow in Glen Clova’ to ‘Flowers’, about which my notes say one word: “Wow!”

As space is rapidly being used up I must still mention Bob Chaplain’s nattering watercolour, ‘Village Gossips, Logrosan’; Patricia Stewart’s use of orange in ‘Street Lights of Venice’; Marjory Armstrong’s waterfall in ‘Twilight’; Caroline Pennant Jones with her mad shells which have been joined by crazy snails; Muriel Hume’s glaring swan, ‘The King of the Keptie’; and Moira Hamilton Speirs’ intriguing ‘Spindrift’.

And there are many more worthy of mention.