George Gilbert RSW was born, grew up and was educated in Glasgow. He trained at Glasgow School of Art 1957-61 under William Armour & David Donaldson (1957 – 61) followed by a year of post graduate study (1961 – 62 (Highly commended). Then George taught in schools in Aberdeenshire, Glasgow & Fife 1963-88. In 1989 he left teaching to paint full time. With his wife Lesley they set up the Courtyard Gallery in Crail 1993-2001.
George has exhibited widely in the UK with many solo shows as well as group and mixed exhibitions including the RSW, RSA and the RGI, the Cleveland Drawing Competition, the Sunday Times Water Colour Competition & the RSW summer open.
‘I was born, grew up & was educated in Glasgow. I trained at Glasgow School of Art under William Armour & David Donaldson ( 1957-61) followed by a year of post graduate study 1961-62 ( highly commended.) I then taught in schools in Glasgow , Aberdeenshire & Fife 1963-88. In 1989 I left teaching to paint full time. With my wife Lesley we set up The Courtyard gallery in Crail 1993-2001.
I have exhibited widely in the UK with many solo shows as well as group & mixed exhibitions including the RSW,RSA & the RGI the Cleveland Drawing Competition ,The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition & the RWS Summer Open. After living in the East neuk of Fife for nearly 40 years we moved to Edinburgh in 2010. Our decision to move back to Crail in 2015 was in many ways “a home coming “. From my window I can see, across the back, the house we lived in for 10 years & where we set up the Courtyard Gallery. That house now appears in my paintings of our garden.
The fishing village of St Monans in the East Neuk of Fife has been painted by many Scottish artists including James McBey ,Bessie McNicol & more recently by George Hunter & W.G .Gillies. I was not aware of this when I first visited the village in 1965. Nor could I have foreseen that St. Monans & the East Neuk would become my home & the source of much of my work for the next 40 years.
Basically I am interested in the way light animates the buildings & harbours of this small corner & the elements & the patina of age lends a dignity & character which challenges the skill of the painter.
I have always been interested in painting techniques. My preferred media are Acrylic, water-colour & pen & ink wash. Generally the subject dictates the choice of medium. My acrylics are built up in layers with glazes superimposed over thicker layers of impasto. They can take a long time ,even on a small scale. Water colour is more fluid requiring a different approach & I enjoy working on a large scale – up to 76 x 100 cms.
The objects which “people”my still-lifes & interiors are part of a”family” I have collected over many years -mainly from flea markets at home & abroad. They are generally old ,distressed & of little intrinsic value. The common element is character. I try to avoid formal arrangements in favour of accidental groupings & interesting lighting. A small group can provide endless variations.’ George Gilbert RSW (August 2017)