Our new exhibition is now on the walls and it is an exceptional show. Pascale Rentsch RSW and Madeleine Hand are very different artists but both convey the pleasure of living in the moment, finding beauty in our surroundings, and joy in everyday life.
We have been exhibiting Madeleine Hand’s paintings for many years at Tolquhon and she has built a considerable following. If you see her work in an exhibition, you will mistake her for no other. Her figures, her lively drawing and pattern-making, and distinctive palette of colours mark her out.
Madeleine is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, where she specialised in illustration. She lives in Perthshire and divides her time between painting and commissions, family and community.
Madeleine depicts scenes of domestic and rural life — a cast of characters go about their day, gathering apples, dancing in the fields, filling log baskets… She celebrates daily life, quietly conveying the joy of simple activities and interactions.
Painted mainly in watercolour, Madeleine’s paintings are timeless, with an enduring quality. She loves the paintings of the 1940s and has been inspired by artists of the time including Eric Ravilious and Evelyn Dunbar.
Madeleine is a great storyteller. Consider ‘Windswept’. Where is the woman heading to as she strides out along the path with such purpose, accompanied by her dogs? You can feel the wind buffeting her, scarf billowing behind, hat threatening to blow off, trees bent at an angle, leaves swirling.
Her love of pattern is clear, whether in the fabrics her figures wear, or the shapes of buildings or paths through fields. Her paintings are full of movement and activity but never frantic or fractious.
These are deceptively simple paintings, gentle, soothing, companionable but their composition is complex and beautifully balanced. What they express is love. What could be finer.
This is an exhibition not to be missed. It runs from 13 May to 3 June.