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Jan Patience: Escape to paradise in Lachlan Goudie’s colours

Everything In Bloom, by Lachlan Goudie
Everything In Bloom, by Lachlan Goudie

An artists who can paint, write and break down complex art stories for a broad audience, Lachlan Goudie’s skill occasionally gets lost in the mix.

Drawing and painting is central to his being; he loves to lose himself in a blank canvas to solve a visual puzzle.

He regularly fronts the likes of the BBC’s Life Drawing Live! and art documentaries such as The Story Of Scottish Art, which led to him write a book of the same name.

Goudie has always been surrounded by art. As a child, he regularly sat for his dad, celebrated painter Alexander Goudie, who not only passed on his creative DNA, but taught his son about light, shade, tone, composition and colour. Of pushing through doubt to let the unconscious imagination take over.

As Goudie’s latest exhibition reveals, the experience of researching and writing The Story of Scottish Art has also found its way into his art.

‘This devastated masterpiece must be Scotland’s Notre Dame’: Artist Lachlan Goudie on why gutted Glasgow School of Art building demands more urgent action

In the catalogue for his new exhibition, Painting Paradise, which opened last week at Edinburgh’s Scottish Gallery, Goudie writes of a “noisy contingent” of artists at his elbow as he painted these last two years.

This includes Scottish Colourists, SJ Peploe, JD Fergusson and FCB Cadell, French painters, Matisse, Gauguin and Bonnard, English artist William Nicholson and American landscape painter, Winslow Homer. As Goudie took off on a painterly travelogue around Scotland, France and Mauritius, he says they all had a seat around his easel.

And it shows. In Edinburgh, Goudie painted views from a new town eyrie at Peploe’s easel; the flat northern winter light creating stark shadows. Back in his London studio, still lifes with an inky black Peploe background appeared.

Artist and broadcaster Lachlan Goudie alongside some of his new works on display at Painting Paradise (Pic: Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

In southern France, he made landscapes sing with colour, while in the tropics, the vast rolling skies and unfamiliar colours inject a smooth coolness into his seascapes.

It all makes a visual feast of colour-filled escapism.


Dumfries & Galloway has always been one of the most creative corners of Scotland and from next Saturday until November 26, the area plays host to the inaugural Making And Doing Festival Of Creativity.

Based at the South Machars Community Centre in Whithorn, local makers taking part include Tim Westley, a bladesmith from Bladnoch, who transforms washed up plastic and waste metal into chefs’ knives, and Morag MacPherson, who creates hand-dyed kimonos.