City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Gallery Review: Colm O'Brien, Henderson's Restaurant

By Vivien Devlin - Posted on 26 October 2013

The Big Wheel, Edinburgh's Winter Festival - Colm O'Brien
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After a career as a singer and musician, a few years ago Colm O’Brien returned to establish his artistic talent as a landscape painter.

A collection of his distinctive Edinburgh city views, Fife fishing villages and Highland seascapes is currently on show in a Pop Up gallery at Henderson’s Restaurant, Hanover Street until 2nd November.

The term “Scottish Colourist” is certainly well known, referring to the major group of artists (Peploe, Cadell, Ferguson, Hunter), whose work was defined as “simple, vibrant and engaging works combine Continental influences with a joyful ‘art for art’s sake’ character in a readily accessible idiom.”

In similar vein, O’Brien creates vibrant, joyful compositions of architectural and coastal scenes around the Capital: Princes Street from Calton Hill, the grandeur of the Balmoral (which the hotel should purchase!), Cramond and Granton Harbour.

His bold, brash Expressionistic approach is particularly evident in such works as Anstruther which is bathed in a blood-red light, perhaps emphasising a sunset over the Forth. Like Matisse and the Fauve artists, O’Brien moves away from realistic reproductions to show an exaggerated, distorted image.

His method is a gradual process from painstaking sketching and drawing in the open air, combined with taking photographs. Back in the studio the final creation unfolds with brushstrokes of acrylic or oils applied and retouched to complete the painting.

As we head towards the Winter Festival in Edinburgh, the ice rink and Big Wheel will soon return to Princes Street Gardens: O’Brien has captured this iconic scene with the Christmas fun fair lights blazing against the night sky. This will surely inspire a Festive spirit!

This exhibition includes large and small gift-size paintings - Edinburgh streets and Scottish landscapes from St. Abbs to Plockton, all given a fresh perspective with an exciting, contemporary Colourist style.

Visit Henderson’s to see the artwork and stay awhile for a healthy meal and a glass of wine too!

Ends 2nd November. Colm O’Brien also exhibits at the Art House Gallery, Kelso.