Joan Eardley (1921 - 1963) was a Scottish artist best known for her portraits of street children in Glasgow and her sea and landscape painting of the North East Coast of Scotland. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1949 and focused her work on the streets of Glasgow, in particular creating portraiture pieces of the street children living in the slum area of Townhead.
In the 1950’s Eardley spent a lot of time in Catterline, Aberdeenshire, and she eventually made it her permanent home. It was here that she switched her focus from portraiture to sea and landscapes. She often painted seascapes of the same viewpoint but in different lights, seasons or weather conditions. Her landscape work often portrayed the changing seasons of the fields on her doorstep. These paintings were often very textured using thick painting techniques and she would also include real vegetation that she would find in the area.
Sadly this great artist's career and life was cut short as she died at the age of 42 to breast cancer. Her remains were scattered on the beach in Catterline which was the inspiration of so many of her paintings.
Our latest visit to Over Kirkhope Farm was for our "Eardley and the Elements" Luxury Art Retreat. We were graced with some superb weather which does always make painting outside that bit nicer! On the Thursday evening the guests arrived to a lovely home cooked dinner and they got to settle into the luxurious surroundings at Over Kirkhope Farmhouse.
On the Friday morning, after a delicious breakfast to start the day, it was off to the studio to learn about Eardley and her painting techniques. Once all the guests had been thoroughly inspired by Eardley’s work we went out into the beautiful fields that surround Over Kirkhope Farm to begin responding to the landscape.
The next couple of days were filled with painting and sketching the luscious landscape the Scottish Border’s have to offer while keeping well fuelled by delicious home cooked meals and a comfy bed at the end of the day. All the guests embraced Eardley’s distinct painting techniques and these could be seen in the work they created.