Jolomo turns attention from west to east coast

John Lowrie Morrison in his second studio on the Isle of Mull. Picture by Rob McDougall.
John Lowrie Morrison in his second studio on the Isle of Mull. Picture by Rob McDougall.

One of Scotland’s most successful artists has turned his attention from his signature west coast landscapes to paint the glens and fishing villages of Angus and Tayside.

John Lowrie Morrison, known as ‘Jolomo’, made his name painting the west coast of Scotland in vibrant colours.

The east coast for me is dominated by the dawn light whereas the west coast is dominated by the evening light.

John Lowrie Morrison

He has rarely painted on the east coast and is exhibiting these new works for the first time in an exhibition, ‘Arbroath to Tobermory’, which opened at Gallery Q in Dundee on Saturday.

Alongside paintings of Argyll, the Western Isles and the Isle of Mull, he will show landscapes featuring the Angus villages of Usan, Ferryden and Auchmithie, the beaches at Lunan Bay and East Haven, and crofts in Glen Esk and Glen Clova.

The Bell Rock and Scurdie Ness lighthouses also captured his attention as dramatic locations for paintings.

John Lowrie Morrison OBE said: “The east coast and west coast are very different, especially the light. The east coast for me is dominated by the dawn light whereas the west coast is dominated by the evening light. But there are also similarities. I have expressed this in the two paintings, ‘Moon Over Arbroath Creels’ and ‘Evening Low Tide Tobermory, Isle of Mull’. They are as far apart as they can be geographically, one on the east coast, one on the west, but both have painted buildings and a mess of creels on the pier.”

He added he had fond memories of Angus after visiting it while he was a student at Glasgow School of Art.

He continued: “In the late 1960s, we used to go over to dances at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee. Staying over with some friends, I spent time discovering places like the Angus hills and Usan and going out to the Bell Rock. I came to love Angus then, and I think many of the paintings refer to these memories.”

Joyce McGlone, owner of Gallery Q said: “I am delighted to welcome John back to the gallery. I discovered his work shortly after I opened the gallery (then called The Queen’s Gallery) in 1999, and thought it was fantastic. He had a solo exhibition with me in November 2000 and has shown regularly with the gallery ever since.

“The vibrancy and immediacy of his painting captivates audiences. His work goes from strength to strength and is more sought after than ever.”