“Scottish Watercolours 1740-1940” (Batsford 1986 : paperback 1991)
Scottish Watercolours 1740-1940 was my first publication and is first survey of Scottish watercolour painting.
Scottish art is now greatly appreciated, but when I started work on this book very few people south of the border appreciated Scottish art. I was particularly impressed by the watercolours of the Glasgow Boys and both Arthur Melville and Joseph Crawhall are, in my opinion, major figures in the history of British watercolours.
The book was published in hardback by Batsfords who subsequently issued a paperback version.
“Venice – The Artists Vision” (Batsford 1990, Unicorn Press 1999)
Venice has played a very important role in my life, and I became interested in the role that Venice played in the work of artists such as Turner, Whistler, Ruskin, Sargent and Sickert. Although distant from London, Venice nevertheless reflected many issues that were dominating the London art world, for example Whistler’s feud with Ruskin continues in Venice and indeed Whistler was only in Venice because of his disastrous legal battle with Ruskin.
This book was first published by Batsford and subsequently issued in paperback by Unicorn Press.
“Dictionary of Scottish Painters 1600 to Present Day” (Canongate 1990 : 1998: 2nd edition 2001: 3rd edition Birlinn 2010)
I wrote this illustrated dictionary in conjunction with Paul Harris and it has proved to be very successful. It was originally published by Canongate who issued three editions and in 2010 Birlinn published the fourth edition to which we had added the names of many younger and emerging Scottish artist. The book is an excellent introduction to Scottish painting.
“The Art of Diana Armfield RA” (David and Charles 1995)
I very much enjoyed writing this book about Diana Armfield who is one of the leading flower painters working Britain today. She is also a wonderful landscape painter in oils and a fine pastellist. The wife of Bernard Dunstan RA, Diana is also a member of the Royal Academy in London, the first husband and wife team since Laura and Harold Knight. The book is beautifully illustrated with many pages of colour reproductions.
“Private View: David Wolfers and the New Grafton Gallery” (Lund Humphries 2002)
David Wolfers was an extraordinary man who built up the New Grafton Gallery into one of the leading London galleries dealing in figurative painting.
He had an eye for emerging artists and engendered great loyalty from those artists who work he exhibited and promoted. Many now famous painters exhibited at the New Grafton including Fred Cuming RA, Ken Howard RA, Mary Fedden RA and Peter Greenham RA and he also promoted younger figures such as Richard Pikesley, Martin Yeoman, Ruth Stage.
A very useful reference book.
“A Hand to Obey the Demon’s Eye” (Unicorn Press 2000)
Norman Douglas Hutchinson was a brilliant painter whose life reads like a novel.
Brought up an orphan in India, the illegitimate son of an English aristocrat, he made his way to London in the 1950’s and established himself as a portrait painter.
With the constant support of his wife Gloria, Norman became a painter of the Royal Family, a particular favourite of the late Queen Mother, and established a studio in the South West of France.
Since his death in 2010 Norman Douglas Hutchinson has been recognised as one of the leading Anglo-Indian artists.
“A Bit of Trompe” (Unicorn Press 2002)
This is a study of the life and work of Lincoln Taber 1941-1989 written in conjunction with his widow, also a painter.
Lincoln was born in America but settled in England after training in Florence. He made a great reputation as a painter of trompe l’oeil pictures, both easel paintings and murals.
”A Place to Paint” (Burnaby Press 1998)