Scottish Field

The Strathearn Gallery

Beth Robertson Fiddes opens her new solo exhibition, Margins at Crieff’s The Strathearn Gallery


One of Scotland’s most gifted, striking and unique landscape artists, Beth Robertson Fiddes opens her new Solo Exhibition Margins at the Strathearn Gallery in Crieff on Saturday 17 September.

The field of Scottish landscape painting has always been strong, with many noted painters over the years having worldwide reputation­s.

Few who have seen the work of Beth Robertson Fiddes would argue that Beth deserves to also be regarded as one of the best, her paintings capturing the Scottish wilderness with a skill and talent few possess.

Bridging the gap between realism and abstract painting, Beth eschews the more traditiona­l bright and colourful vistas and while some compositio­ns will depict broader landscapes and mountains, Beth’s preference is to instead focus on specific elements and details within the environmen­t. This narrowing in allows her to fully accentuate details within her subject matter.

‘Many of the places where I find inspiratio­n are on the edge of something,’ Beth says. ‘A coastline, a rocky outcrop, or the peaty banks of a hill loch, the margins. Within my paintings I often try to capture that sense of stepping

from one world to another, taking that last step into the unknown, away from reality and into an otherworld­ly space. This exhibition draws together pieces I feel reflect this idea best,

crashing waves on the northwest coast, deep inviting rock pools and views of the peaks and high ground of Assynt. Much of this work is based on my immediate surroundin­gs here in

Sutherland, with a focus on places where land meets water in peace and tranquilli­ty or in wind and storm.’

Using oil paint, inks, sometimes adding paper for texture, washing away paint and continuall­y sanding back layers of work to

rework and add to them, Beth’s paintings

continuous­ly evolve. Each a work of controlled

experiment and accident in order to move technique forward - some works are never

finished but the process is still valuable to Beth. To any artist, painting water is notoriousl­y difficult, yet Beth’s exceptiona­l talent and over 20 years of honing her craft means she has the ability to translate its movement, transparen­cy and reflection flawlessly.

‘I start with an idea of the direction I would

like to go in but it’s the mistakes and surprises that drive on the painting process - choosing what to keep, what to discard and when to

move on,’ says Beth. ‘I would never be able to sustain interest in a piece of work if I knew exactly what it would look like in the end. The painting is finished when I’m happy that I’ve captured the feeling and memory of the initial point of inspiratio­n or place. With tides, splashes, breaking waves and angry waters, I’m trying to catch a moment. To imagine that moment is all the time I have, a life in a millisecon­d, and to find, save and preserve forms and structures in the movement.’

Often choosing to paint on a larger scale,

the finished paintings are powerful, breathtaki­ng works that should be enjoyed in person to properly understand the formidable scale and depth achieved. And as more and more

art-collectors are switched on to Beth’s work, although the locations she chooses to paint are often on the margins, her reputation certainly is not.

Margins by Beth Robertson Fiddes opens at 10am on 17 September and runs until 16 October.

 ?? ?? Above: Pathways In The Snow (48 x 32ins). Bottom left: Sea Foam (60 x 35ins).
Above: Pathways In The Snow (48 x 32ins). Bottom left: Sea Foam (60 x 35ins).
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