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Extracts from a speech by Jim Henderson given at the 90th anniversary dinner of Dumfries and Galloway Fine Art Society on 15th February 2013.
Born in Castle Douglas in 1861 William Stewart MacGeorge studied art in Edinburgh and Antwerp. Returning to Galloway he became a leading member of the Kirkcudbright School.
Born in Dorset in 1825, Henry Joseph Moule moved to Gatehouse of Fleet in the early 1860s.
He married in 1862 and remained in Gatehouse with his wife and four children for 15 years, painting many local views.
Charles Oppenheimer first came to Kirkcudbright in 1909 following a chance meeting with E A Taylor in Manchester. Over the next 50 years Oppenheimer remained a leading member of Kirkcudbright's artistic community.
Born in 1854, James Paterson moved to Moniaive in the late eighteen eighties following his marriage. One of the Glasgow Boys, his paintings of the local area were to become some of his finest works.
A leading member of the Glasgow Boys, who painted in both England and Scotland, E A Walton came to know Galloway towards the end of his life. First and foremost a landscape painter, atmosphere of a place was as important to Walton as location.
Influential Polish artist who lived in Galloway during the Second World War.
If F C B Cadell is best known for his Edinburgh Portraits and interiors and his Iona landscapes, Dumfries and Galloway was important to his development as an artist and for his life-long friendship with Ted Stewart of Shambellie.
Painting mainly local landscapes in oils and watercolours W H Clarke died in an accident just as his work was becoming better known and admired.
Daniell, with his uncle Thomas, was responsible for some of the most lavish illustrated books ever published. "A Voyage around Great Britain" included some fine views of Dumfries and Galloway scenes.
Best known for his engravings James Faed was born at Barlay Mill, Gatehouse in 1821. At the time of his death on 23 September 1911, James Faed was the last survivor of a famour family of artists.
Born into the highly talented Faed family of artists, James Faed Junior, the eldest son of James Faed Senior is best known for his Scottish landscapes.
Born into the talented Faed family of Gatehouse in 1819, John Faed showed early artistic promise. He left for Edinburgh in 1840 to pursue his career but returned to the town permanently in 1880.
Born in 1827, Susan Faed like her elder brothers had artistic talent. As well as exhibiting at the Royal Scottish Academy she also contributed work to the first Kirkcudbrightshire Fine Art Association.
Gatehouse of Fleet was the home of the Faeds, a remarkable family of artists. Of the six children of James Faed, five had their work exhibited at the Academies in London and Edinburgh.
Chris Fergusson was born and lived in Dumfries, but had many connections to the Kirkcudbright artists. She painted scenes throughout the region in her individual style.
Educated at Edinburgh College of Art, Nan Fergusson was the daughter of Chris J Fergusson and was born and brought up in Dumfries.She moved to Edinburgh with her growing family and continued her art practice, exhibiting at the Royal Glasgow Institute.
Famous today mostly for his paintings of cows and calves, David Gauld was one of the most interesting and influential of the Glasgow Boys.
The Glasgow Girls is a name which has become associated with various women artists, designers and craft workers, who studied at Glasgow School of Art and worked in the city at the end of the 19th and early part of the 20th century.
Tom Gourdie, has an important place in the art of Dumfries and Galloway, for during the time that he was stationed at RAF Dumfries he left a unique record of his time there.
This young group of mainly Scottish artists who rebelled against the art establishment in the 1880s and 1890s included artist such as James Guthrie, George Henry, E. A Hornel, John Lavery, and E. A. Walton.
Francis Grose was one of the leading antiquaries of the late eighteenth century, but was also a proficient artist and a friend of Robert Burns...
George Henry is associated with Kirkcudbright at that period when the town was at the cutting edge of Scottish art. His Galloway Landscape remains a timeless image of the Galloway countryside.
Hornel was one of the foremost "Glasgow Boys", and helped to make Kirkcudbright an artistic centre. His home, Broughton House, now belongs to the National Trust for Scotland, and many of his paintings can be seen there.
Anna and Isobel Hotchkis were born in Crookston, Renfrewshire and both studied art at Glasgow School of Art and also in Munich. They had a love of travelling but both settled in Kirkcudbright.
A multi-talented artist, Tim Jeffs was born in Dumfries moving to Kirkcudbright in 1945. He, with a group of local artists and craft workers established the annual Kirkcudbright Summer School for Arts and Crafts.
A regular visitor to Greengate close from 1918. Miles Johnston, his wife Dorothy Nesbitt and family settled in Kirkcudbright in 1940. A talented animal and bird artist, also remembered locally for his watercolours of the area.
Best known for her original and imaginative talent in illustration. She purchased a house in Kirkcubright and with her husband Ernest Taylor returned there in 1915 where they became key members of the artistic community.
Kokoschka was one of the trio of Austrian Expressionist artists (along with Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele) who achieved fame before the First World War.
Born in Dalbeattie in 1905 John Maxwell returned there on the death of his parents and retired to Galloway in 1945 to paint there full time. Destroying much of his own work, it is only his best works which survive.
Born in Kirkcudbright, William Mouncey spent most of his life in and around the area and these are the scenes which fill most of his canvases. His works still regularly appear at sales of Scottish Art.
The most popular and successful of the Scottish colourists S J Peploe was a good friend of Jessie M King and E A Taylor. His Kirkcudbright paintings and his landscapes form an important part of his work.
Painter in oils, watercolour and pastel of landscapes, portraits, interiors and still life. In the period 1904 - 1919 painted subjects associated with Dumfriesshire and in particular Dalswinton.
Born in 1863 William Robson was bequeathed Dalreoch estate in Ayrshire, the income from this enabled him to devote his life to art. With his family he moved to Kirkcudbright in 1904 living an active life in the community until his death in 1950
Born in 1915 Charles Stewart inherited Shambellie House in 1962, offering it and his costume collection to the nation in 1977. His talent lay in historical illustration undertaking the first of many commissions in 1943/44.
Jim Sturgeon left a legacy of colour which earned him a reputation of being Galloway's Colourist, painting local scenes, towns, villages, farm buildings, cottages, boats and yachts on the water.
A R Sturrock was a member of the radical Edinburgh Group of artists, which exhibited just before and after the First World War. Moved to Gatehouse in 1926 with his wife and lived there till 1934 producing some of his best work.
As a correspondent for The Studio, E A Taylor was an important figure in the arts in the first decades of the twentieth century. He settled with wife Jessie King in Kirkcudbright, playing a leading role in the development of the artists' colony.
Possibly the best-known British artist, Turner painted and sketched on several occasions in Dumfries and Galloway.
Archie Sutter Watt took up a teaching post in Dalbeattie in 1950, expecting to remain in Galloway for a couple of years. For over 50 years, from his base in Kirkgunzeon, Archie played a leading role in the artistic life of Dumfries and Galloway.
From a well-connected Scottish family and knew many of the Victorian elite. a sketcher and watercolourist who recorded many aspects of social and personal life.
Christopher Whall (1849 - 1924) was a leading member of the Arts and Crafts movement at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. He had a great influence as teacher, author and creator of stained glass windows.
George Wright showed early ability as a landscape painter. After breaking his arm he took up a position as Art Master at Annan Academy to help supplement his income as a painter. He left a fine pictorial of his home town.
Jim was born on 20 August 1932, the only child of Robert and Jane Sturgeon. He received his schooling at St Peter’s School. He enlisted for National Service when he was 18 and was sent with the Kings’ Own Scottish Borderers to Korea and Hong Kong. In doing so, Jim was following in his father’s footsteps. Robert Sturgeon had been a regular soldier and was a WW1 survivor of the Somme. While out in the Far East, Jim took a month’s leave in Japan. It was at this time that Jim showed his real artistic talent through the medium of colour crayon.
In the 1950s, Jim received first encouragement in his painting from John Maxwell RSA, the Dalbeattie born painter who retired back to the town in the 1940s. Jim’s chief mentor was the Scottish Colourist Donald Bain (1904-1979). Bain was a member of the New Scottish Group of Artists formed in the 1940s, a group which included J.D. Ferguson, and Polish artists Jankel Adler and Josef Herman. Jim was invited by J.D. Ferguson to exhibit at the Celtic School of Ballet, run by Ferguson’s wife, Meg Morris. Donald Bain first saw Jim’s paintings exhibited at the Glasgow Civic Arts Exhibition and exposure to Bain and the Scottish Colourists contributed largely to Jim’s style and his earning the reputation as Galloway’s Colourist.
National Service over, Jim took up employment with Footwear Development at Heathhall. He took a year off in 1957 and travelled to Canada, where he studied the work of the Canadian artists known as the Group of Seven, based in Toronto. At this time in his life, he took himself off on his scooter during holiday times to the Highlands, and hitch-hiked on the Continent. Where ever he went, he would make pencil sketches, working them up into oil paintings. In the 1960s, Jim’s musical talent also came to the fore. He became a member of the local Folk singing group, The Layabouts, singing to his own banjo accompaniment.
Jim became a full-time artist in 1967, and opened The Doocote gallery and gift shop in Dalbeattie’s High Street. As he had done from his earliest years, Jim spent his leisure time in Dalbeattie Forest by the Plantain Loch, and around the Solway Coast, where he found inspiration for many of his paintings. In the mid-1970s, Woodside Studio Gallery, Jim’s own studio and exhibition space was opened where he initially showed his own work and that of other local artists, and provided a custom framing service for local artists and residents.
Jim was a long-term member of the Dumfries and Galloway Fine Arts Society based at the Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries and served as a Council member in the 1960s. In April 2006, Jim was made an honorary Life Member of the Society in recognition of his 51 years of membership and his contribution to Scottish Colourist Arts.
On his highly individual and instantly recognisable style, Jim once said to an interviewer, “If I take up my brush and decide to paint a blue tree, I will not use any other colour to balance that elsewhere in the painting. It is not what my eyes see, but what my brain and soul translates as the balance that I require at that time.”
Following a stroke in 2004, which affected his right hand and arm, Jim learned both to write and paint with his left hand, successfully completing a number of paintings, all of which are now owned privately. The onset of Motor Neurone Disease was diagnosed in early 2006. Although he was not able to continue painting, he continued to exhibit locally.
James (Jim) Sturgeon, widely known as ‘The Galloway Colourist’, died on 15 November 2006.