Featured artist: Alison Dunlop

Our ‘featured artist’ this month is Alison Dunlop RSW, a Canadian artist who has made Scotland her home – she lives and works in Opinan, near Gairloch.

Alison works in both watercolours and oils, and describes these two strands of her work as follows: “Watercolours, of the moment: an essence of fluid, melting movement, at times ethereal, at times riotous… and then the studied calm of the oils: motion slowed to a controlled, frozen, full stop, where it dances forever in one form. “

She is a member and former Vice-President of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour and a past President of Visual Arts Scotland.

The work featured in the Gallery this month is a selection from her ‘Inner Sound’ series. She embarked on this, in part, to honour the centenary of Jon Schueler, whose work and writing has inspired her. Jon was an American painter who lived and painted on the West Coast of Scotland for many years. His centenary was marked by The University of the Highlands and Islands’ Gaelic College, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye, during May and June 2016.

Alison spent her childhood on the shores of the Great Lakes, and “always yearned to go further into ‘the North,’ always searching for that, perhaps, mythical place where I might find it. I was certain that once here, I would also discover a freedom and an authentic visual language to explore and express my own deep identification with nature, which seems to be every Canadian’s birthright. Like Schueler, I was drawn to this part of the North-West of Scotland and here I found it. My childhood in Canada was certainly formative, but coming to live in the North West of Scotland has been nothing short of transformative.”

Art critic Duncan MacMillan wrote this about her ‘Inner Sound’ watercolours in The Scotsman earlier this year: “Alison Dunlop also uses her medium beautifully in Wave and Wave-Study. In both, an inverted arc of transparent blue hovers above a blue horizon. This is essential watercolour. She could not create such a luminous image in any other medium.”

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