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Jan Patience: Alma’s passion for art, straight from the heart

© SYSTEMResting Competitor, East Kilbride Show by Alma Wolfson
Resting Competitor, East Kilbride Show by Alma Wolfson

Alma Wolfson feels her way into each work she creates. Her drawings of horses or buildings appear deft and delicate, but there is a robust hand behind all the marks she makes.

When it comes to landscapes and cityscapes she revels in colour; using broad strokes to convey a gamut of emotions.

As she says: “Painting and drawing are two separate activities for me. It is the feel of the paint on the brush, the inexactitude of the marks of a loaded brush, it is a record of my feelings on that day in that place, not a postcard of the view.

“The quality and fluidity is important, the manipulation of paint, pencil or pastels is like music, there are as many ways to compose a painting, as there is to compose a piece of music, each is unique.”

Wolfson’s first ever solo exhibition in her home city of Glasgow, A Painter’s Passion, is on at Gerber Fine Art in the city centre. Staged to mark Wolfson’s 80th birthday, it features 60 paintings, drawings and watercolours made in the last two years.

Wolfson studied textile design at the Glasgow School of Art in the early 1960s under the watchful eye of influential Robert Stewart. You can tell from her richly textured, gloriously layered paintings that a sharp eye for colour and design was fostered at an early age. Stewart also encouraged his students to paint outdoors.

This training never left her and Wolfson always has art materials at the ready. She is a familiar site at agriculture shows, drawing horses in situ. There are several drawings of horses on show in this exhibition and you can’t help but marvel at how deftly Wolfson must draw to pin down these majestic beasts.

If you like art to come straight from the heart, then this exhibition presents a rare opportunity to get up close to vintage Wolfson on a grand scale.

Alma Wolfson: A Painter’s Passion, Gerber Fine Art, 178 W Regent St, Glasgow, until May 14


Tatha Gallery in Newport-on-Tay always manages to lift the spirits with a programme of emerging and established Scottish contemporary artists.

Its current show, Haru: Spring & Night Music, is a showcase of work by award-winning artists, Paul Furneaux and Barry McGlashan. Furneaux’s wood-block prints are direct and tactile, while McGlashan works instinctively in paint, with the blot from one painting become the starting point of another. The process is part of the finished piece. It runs until May 14.