Crinan artist follows the Charles Rennie Mackintosh trail


ONE of Scotland’s best-selling contemporary artists is following the footsteps of Charles Rennie Mackintosh – almost literally.

Next month, Frances Macdonald takes up the post of Artist in Residence at Collioure in France. She was awarded the 2013 Charles Rennie Mackintosh residency at Collioure of L’Association Charles Rennie Mackintosh en Roussillon.

Collioure is famous as the location where Charles Rennie Mackintosh spent his latter years painting. Each year, the Association invites two established Scottish artists for a month-long residency. Previously, RGI artists selected for this award include George Devlin, Jock Macinnes, Glen Scouller and Simon Laurie.

Frances Macdonald lives and works on the west coast of Argyll where she runs the Crinan Hotel with her husband Nick Ryan. She follows in the tradition of the 20th-century Scottish Colourists. Her paintings are highly prized and Frances enjoys sell-out exhibitions in London and Edinburgh galleries. Her subjects range from the calm of a sun-soaked beach to the drama of a raging storm – using a palette knife to depict the structure of rocks and depicting the landscapes of Scotland’s western islands in a very individual style.

The residency is an annual award organised by L’Association Charles Rennie Mackintosh en Roussillon. The organiser of the residency programme is Robin Crichton, a prominent Scottish film maker who is quoted as saying: “The Association promotes the artistic legacy of Charles Rennie Mackintosh in the south of France. Our Mackintosh Trail is a journey of discovery across the region which highlights the locations which inspired Mackintosh’s most famous watercolour paintings.”

The Collioure residency is intended as a cultural retreat. It is an opportunity for artists who are commercially and artistically recognised, to take a break away from everyday pressures and explore new stimuli and find new directions. At the end of each residency, the artists discuss their experience and the work they produced in France. An exhibition of the work in France by Frances Macdonald will be held at Crinan later this year.

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