Geraldine Girvan (born 1947)
Geraldine Girvan has been exhibiting at the Chris Beetles Gallery for over thirty five years and, in that time, she has consistently proven that the strong tradition of Scottish colourists is still very much alive.
Born in Derby in 1947, Geraldine studied at Edinburgh University and trained at Edinburgh College of Art. She was influenced by both the college’s Principal, Sir William Gillies, and her tutors, Elizabeth Blackadder and Alex Campbell, who contributed to providing a decisive inspiration in the direction of her career. Of Campbell she has written that he:
Opened my eyes to the qualities of touch and paint handling and [that his] own work was often idiosyncratic in composition and painted with great subtlety.
Like many Scottish painters before her, Girvan has drawn energy from the vital tradition of the French colourists, notably Bonnard and Matisse. The resulting work, in oil and watercolour, tends to present a domestic paradise, by blurring the distinction between interior and exterior, and also between objects and surfaces. Floral prints suggest a landscape beyond; tangled borders mimic wallpaper. Mirrors ensure light and space, while seeming to propagate fruit and flowers; screens and blinds create tantalizing views, and her reclining cats accentuate this atmosphere of languorous comfort.
In addition to regular – biennial – shows at Chris Beetles Gallery, she has exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour and the Royal Watercolour Society.