“The Old Town .. what a picturesque world remains untouched …the roofs and spires climb one above another to where the Citadel prints its jagged crown on the western sky.” Robert Louis Stevenson
Edinburgh with its dramatic scenic views has always been a continuing source of painterly inspiration for Jamie Primrose. Through the seasons, its shifting light and changing perspective, often viewed from the high craggy hills all round - Castle Rock, Calton Hill and the Pentlands.
“Ephemeral Skies” features over fifty new paintings, many of which take the viewer on a stroll around the Old Town in the still of the night. From the Lawnmarket, head down the Royal Mile, its marble-like cobbles glistening after a shower of rain: there’s a filmic quality in these atmospheric glimpses around this World Heritage site.
Around the corner is the sweeping curve down Victoria Street with its charming row of colourfully painted shops and restaurants, reminiscent of the waterfront of Tobermory, Isle of Mull. As an artistic experiment, Primrose has created a different palate of oils with the addition of a translucent glaze. To capture a soft hazy light there’s an emphasis of azure blues such as in “Late Afternoon from North Bridge,” a misty, magical composition.
Very much a trademark of his work are fiery sunsets – wild streaks of coral, pink and peach-tinted cloudy skies with a rosy glow bursting on the horizon in a series of panoramic cityscapes. In contrast, there are stark, sketchy, monochrome Indian Ink drawings of towering townhouses, church steeples and rooftop turrets.
From the Grassmarket at dusk, sunshine on Leith overlooking the Firth of Forth, to the Pentland hills in winter, here are bold, impressionistic paintings, architectural studies and shimmering, shadowy silhouettes of the skyline.
Just as this city has been described so poetically by our writers, what Jamie Primrose brings to his distinctive “portraits” of Edinburgh is capturing its sense of romance and timeless beauty.
“Edinburgh could suddenly be changed into a floating city when the light was a special pearly white and fell upon one of the gracefully fashioned streets.” Muriel Spark.
Dundas Street Gallery
10th to 18th June, 2016. Mon-Fri 11am - 6pm. Sat-Sun, 11am -5pm.