Open doors for Angus artists

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ARTISTS from throughout Angus are preparing to open their doors to the public next week in the newest Open Studios events in Scotland.

For five days over 50 artists will exhibit and sell their work in a variety of settings, from their dining rooms and workshops to theatres and churches.

Among those exhibiting in a joint exhibition for the first time are the father and daughter team of Jack Moffat and Issy Valentine, exhibiting at Issy’s Forfar home.

Both trained in fine art, their contrasting styles sitting well together with Jack’s subtle images complemented by Issy’s work which ranges from delicate drawings and still life to bold abstracts and textured work.

Jack, who was born in 1925 and brought up in Lanarkshire, moved to Brechin with his family when his father worked for the Ministry of Labour.

Although he initially worked with an accountants in Brechin and the Coventry Gauge and Tool Company, he was encouraged by classes with Robert Hardie Condie, the highly recognised artist and arts master at Brechin High School.

Jack began painting in the 1940s while living in Friockheim and went on to study for a Diploma in Art at Dundee Art College. He gained a distinction at Post Diploma, and thereafter undertook teaching.

He was principal teacher of Art & Design at Kinross High School until 1989, teaching at school, at evening ceramics classes and at the local art club.

During his studies he worked alongside James McIntosh Patrick who said of Jack’s work: “He has undoubted talent and shows much promise as a painter. An unusually good sense of colour is controlled by able draughtsmanship and his work in both portraiture and landscape (and also still life) combines soundness and sensitivity.”

All these characteristics are displayed in the selection of Jack’s work which has been on show in private collections. He has also exhibited in France and Scotland.

For the Angus Open Studios event Jack is displaying paintings from his long career.

These include beautiful Dundee scenes from the late 1940s and early work inspired by the Angus countryside, to more recent work in France showing his change in palette and style.

Issy, who is hosting the joint exhibition in her home at 78 Lour Road, enjoys travelling the world with her husband, Neil, seeking inspiration for her artistic endeavours.

Visits to Tanzania, New Zealand, Ecuador, Galapagos, the Amazon and India have all inspired her, as have her parents - her father Jack and her mother, the late Marjory Young who studied textile design.

Her work ranges from fine art photography, delicate drawing to bold abstracts and mixed media work.

She likes to paint, draw and create work from a diverse range of subjects, chosen from their ability to stir both curiosity and emotions.

Issy studied art in Dundee, as did both her parents, and has a diploma in Fine Art and a first class management degree.

She is secretary of Forfar Embroiderers Guild, is on the steering group for the First Angus Open Studios event and is a Voluntary Arts Scotland Ambassador for Angus.

She is also showcasing the digital art of recent graduate David B Cooper (poster, comics and t-shirt designer) at the exhibition.

The Angus Open Studios runs from May 26 to 30 with Issy and Jack’s exhibition open from 11 am to 5 pm every day, or by appointment out-with the event by calling 0787 2930738.

Free directories listing all the artists are available from libraries and selected local shops or e-mail chair@AngusOpenStudios.com Further information on all the artists taking part is available from www.angusopenstudios.com