Saturday, February 23, 2008

Donald Bain - Scottish Artist

"Donald Bain, a Scottish Colourist. William Hardie Ltd.
A beautifully simple guide to one of the less well known Scots painters, Donald Bain, born in Kilmacolm in 1904, died in 79. He moved around France, worked in the Clyde shipyards during the war, and knew Matisse during his stay in St Paul de Vence. There are some stunning plates of Bain's remarkable oils and watercolours. He designed A Midsummer Night's Dream for the Margaret Morris Celtic Ballet in 1948 and believed "Cézanne is the master most modern painters ignore." What adds to this book is his correspondence. He wrote to J.D. Fergusson from Paris, the Alpes Maritimes, and from back home "en Ecosse." The voice in the letters is as determined and confident as his use of colour. "
I've collected Bain's paintings for a number of years and for a variety of reasons a few good ones have come on the market recently. I bought one today.
It is a stunning depiction of sunset across a Scottish Loch, beautifully painted when he was sober, not necessarily something he often was.
One of his favourite tricks was to ring up one of his patrons after lunch on Sunday and say he was coming round to sell a painting. He wouldn't leave until the patron had parted with cash. No cheques.
The reason, of course, was that he had spent all he had earned the previous week by then, woke up, was berated by his wife for drinking the cash, and set out to get some more.
As a result, some of his art is what one might describe as " after lunch" but some of it is stunning in concept and execution, as good and as innovative as the Glasgow Boys proper.
He is still massively affordable - a black ink drawing might only be £80, although some of his oils have gone for more than £4000 - still cheap for what they are.
But as with all art, irrespective of what experts might say, it's not the money or investment potential or whatever that one buys for.
You buy for love and because you want to look at that particular bit of canvas for the rest of your life.

2 comments:

Winchester whisperer said...

So where are you going to hang it?

kinglear said...

ww - in the drawing room. Had to put a McCance away to make space...