John Slavin

Artist Statement:

After graduation from Edinburgh College of Art in 1980 and inspired by the Scottish Colourists’ devotion to French landscape painting, John started annual pilgrimages to the south of France for studies of the Pyrenees Orientales. From a deep awareness and appreciation of Southern landscape painting, his handling of paint makes a direct appeal to the eye; his brush, laden with the colours of the earth and sun, moves among the forms of the natural world with a muscular vigour. Following his master Van Gogh -- ‘Drawing is the basis of painting’ – John makes many detailed studies of landscape with pen and pencil on paper, none of which are idealised. Each image is a real place which can be revisited, and sometimes is, to note seasonal change. The work is expressionistic, the character of tree and rock represented vibrantly in volume with a brush which is confident. John’s love of paint is evident. He says, ‘The artist needs to be informed by a love of nature. The grace of a bough, the eternal enchantment of a cascade, or the grand impact of a mountain may prove that Beauty is my only guide. If she is present, my art has succeeded.’

Member: Society of Scottish Artists and Aberdeen Artists Society

Gorges de l’Orbieu

2014
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
50 x 50cm

Red rock spires and walls beneath a perturbed sky or rose-coloured clouds contorting in their passage across a blue sky. A hidden and unvisited region, a source of mysteries and rivers with underground passages where the borders and physical laws of our surface world are subverted. Here the fairies who wash their clothes with golden rods can appear, possessed of riches in their sparkling cleanliness.

£250.00

Une Chenaie Alet les Bains

2016
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
90 x 60cm

A protecting oak grove above and beyond which hangs the pure blue and featureless canopy of the summer sky. The oaks are tall above the valley of a dry river, an un-flowing bed of brown fallen leaves. After years of visits and study, after an exceptionally heavy rain, the river did flow! Brown as the leaves it carried it danced. And I stood in a place where motion had long been exiled beneath a mosaic of leaves and marvelled again at a new river.

£300.00

La Fajòla

2015
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
60 x 60cm

The sun is setting on an evening after the equinox, beyond the high peaks of the Eastern Pyrenees. In the Langue d’Oc, Fajòla may be associated with that bundle of sticks known as the ‘faggot’ . . . which was put in the service of the Inquisition in the burning of heretics. In my many visits to the view point I have seen the intensity of the setting sun paint the trees red, bent to lift the bells of flowers in blue and felt the flame of life itself in the refuge of study and painting.

£250.00

Beltane Moon (The Valley of the Magdalen)

2015
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
60 x 60cm

Beltane (1st of May Celtic summer) and the moon is on the wane above the tall beech trunks found along the shady banks of the River Salz. Mary Magdalen left the Holy Land and came to France with the Mother of God. Alone she spent thirty years in a wooded space, through which a river ran centrally, hills and mountains surrounding. This is a painting of that space, identified as the valley of the River Salz.

£380.00

Pic d’Envalira

2016
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
60 x 60cm

Silver coils of cloud. Black turrets of rock. Untouched snows. The black-grey-white world of the cold mountain at Envalira where three is the balance. The Dragon coils. The Cloud covers. The Snow rests. This world is far from colourful but on close inspection green may be seen in a tiny foreground pine.

£300.00

Yellow Evening Canigou

2017
Oil on canvas
Stretched, unframed
55 x 46cm

From a break on the heavily wooded descending path suddenly a view opens onto mountainsides which are painted yellow by the sunset.

£450.00

Vallespir

2011
Oil on canvas
Framed – Douglas fir with multicoloured brushwork created by artist
81 x 102 x 1.5cm

To the south beyond Canigou the steep and densely wooded mountains of Vallespir rise beneath a summer sky. Nature seems to take on the forms of its own will, the forms of its own heart’s desire.

£500.00

Thunderbolt

2016
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
50 x 50cm

Against a black sky Mars and Venus are visible to the right. An immense thunder dragon climbs the high mountain and traverses the summit. Strands of mist trail across snow patches where the rocky precipices are vividly patterned.

£280.00

The Black Fountain’s Peak

2015
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
60 x 60cm

The black mass of the mountain contains snow in its crevasse. The surface is treated in a limited range of green and grey to depict pit, abyss, chasm at this evening moment of moonrise. To the left a tree, a cloud, a crescent, a star ascending.

£295.00

Sarrat Cayrol Forest Dusk

2017
Oil on canvas
Stretched, unframed
70 x 50cm

The weary traveller finds an idyllic spot where a fire may be made and a gurgling stream listened to. Among large mossy boulders pine and beech rise to obscure the starry heavens. All is at the extreme of day; only afterglow makes the scene visible.

£450.00

Pic Negre d’Envalira

2016
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
79 x 79.5cm

Lemon light streams from a midsummer sun high above. The mountain peak is immediately present, deeply scarred. Pocked with snowy punctuation, the dangerous way permits a view of rocky detail. In the distance left the chain fades to blue.

£300.00

Pic de Saint-Barthélméy

2014
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
61 x 61cm

In the foreground the first ferns of summer sprout while in the distance the mountain is still snowy. Peaceful valleys roll between.

£450.00

Peak of the Cold Fountain

2015
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
60 x 50cm

Soon after dawn an approaching storm dramatically engulfs the sky. A hare runs for cover against fierce wind. The viewer has climbed opposite to note the rising intricacies of the mountain flank. On the road through the Gorges de l’Aude.

£275.00

Nine Yellow Willows

2016
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
80 x 80cm

The river is shallow, turbulent and stony where it flows between the curtains of the long leafed willow margins.

£400.00

Le Puig de Campcardos

2016
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
80 x 80cm

The architecture of the peak is an intensely detailed tour de force of chaos; nature’s form interpreted in a way which seeks to present the prime imagination at work. This mountain is in the Catalan Pyrenees.

£350.00

Le Jardin de la Foret

2016
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
70 x 90cm

A studio painting made from more than a dozen detailed pen and pencil drawings of sycamore, oak, chestnut, mountain, rock and herb.

£380.00

La Portella Blanca d’Andorra

2016
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
80 x 80cm

An image made at the first safe opportunity of a descent from beyond. Midsummer snow fields lead up to impregnable rocks. The sky is turbulent, the way precipitous.

£400.00

Gesse

2015
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
50 x 50cm

The River Aude is compressed in the depths of its gorge. The influential moon is beyond mountains where night lies down. In this painting of evening perfumes where rock is a veil there is nowhere to stand. The trees offer up their spring flowers, the beauty of blossom acquiesces to the element of rock which contains every simplicity — curve, zigzag, cut, star-ray, hole, peak.

£300.00

Galbe

2015
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
60 x 60cm

A full moon on the way up and out of the deep Gorges de l’Aude brings storms. Beside a torrential river the air is torrential. The birch leaves are yet to come into being. Wind over the River Galbe is loud and the forest shrinks to needles.

£380.00

Cherry and Pine Montagne de Tabe

2010
Oil on canvas
Framed (walnut)
86 x 71 x 1.75cm

Light-play in grass either side of a stony track descends to a tangle of bushes out of which rise two Scots pines. The distant valley is a sea of cloud from which rise high mountains. Overhead the golden limbs of a cherry tree descend, their leaves catching sunlight. The last cherry of the season hangs in the top left.

£300.00

Bugarach East Face

2015
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
60 x 50cm

A heat storm over the sea arrives at the eastern portals of the Bugarach. Terrific clouds rise up immeasurable swells of brilliant or black cumulus. The sky is green. Trees have been posted as sentinels. In the iridescence of a double rainbow chords of colour are inverted. The elements modulate; cloud has the quality of mountain, air of earth. Red is green, black is white. As the Bugarach rises through and beyond the world so rises the storm, inflating his mirror with hot respiration.

£300.00

Black Fountain Tempesta

2015
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
60 x 60cm

A distant blue summer evening is seen from a dark star. Grey rock enters shadow black shape, grains of white upon it. The foot of star mountain is a carpet of tiny pine trees. On the mountain formal patterns of rock-snow snow-rock break the eye up into mercurial yet static detail. Sinister clouds sweep in. Through the storm I am given an opening to create a metaphor for the human eye.

£450.00

Bacou

2015
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
50 x 60cm

As our planet turns towards night long shadows finger the farmland of Bacou on its high plateau. Bacou is Bacchus.

£380.00

Axat

2015
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
50 x 50cm

At the entrance of the deep gorge of the River Aude stands a great mass of mountain rock. This painting is made from references to 9th-century Chinese art and from one swift drawing, pencil hanging in blind vertigo.

£250.00

Above the Col du Paradis

2017
Oil on canvas
Stretched, unframed
80 x 80cm

The passage of the moon predicts snow. A large white mountain dog runs on the pathway between the trees of light and the trees of darkness. The deep sides of the rounded mountains plunge into the light of the world.

£450.00

Valley Road

2019
Oil on canvas
Stretched, unframed
55 x 46cm

A certain happy mood reigns in the clouds above and rises to the soles of the feet from the stones of the pathway. A million leaves for the eye of the beholder. (Foothills of the Pyrenees Orientales)

£295.00

The Silver Fountain Pic del Maia

2016
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
50 x 60cm

From above their bath of mists the mountains clash and assert their teeth. I gaze into the mouth of the dragon. There are mercurial skies above. On the mountain there are metallic bashings and electric zig zags as if on a hero’s shield, serrations, myriad channellings. (Pic del Maia, Canillo, Andorra)

£400.00

Serbairou

2014
Acrylic on canvas
Framed (cherry and black wood with gold metal)
64.5 x 64.5 x 2cm

Orchids, grass, massive tree roots, overhanging leaves and standing dead trees are arranged against a distant mountain Bugarach beneath a troubled sky. (Le Serbairou is a locality in Aude south of Rennes les Bains.)

£380.00

September Dawn Pas de la Casa

2014
Acrylic on canvas
Framed (light grey wood)
64.5 x 64.5 x 2cm

Taken from a split-second eye opening at dawn on freezing 1st of September 2013 and reinforced by impressions and drawings made summer 2014, this painting of mountain dawn at altitude 2000m recreates light, cloud, rock and river. (In the Encamp parish of Andorra)

£450.00

Roc Jalere

2014
Acrylic on canvas
Framed (cherry wood)
63.5 x 63.5 x 1.5cm

This rock with a hole in the middle seems to be an eyeless socket. The white flowers are ciste and the mountain beyond left is Canigou.

£500.00

Flame Canigou

2011
Oil on canvas
Stretched, unframed
46 x 61cm

A view to sacred Canigou from the foot of a great pine and chestnuts on the Col Roque Jalere. September, and already the chestnut leaves are brown. The valley hides itself in a sea of mist above which the mountain rises red as a heart.

£450.00

Evening Beech Trees

2019
Oil on canvas
Stretched, unframed
50 x 61cm

A westering sun casts a yellow light through a transparent forest where blue shadow reaches out from the undergrowth. Two paths converge on the way to the West. (Foothills of the Pyrenees Orientales)

SOLD

The Agly (Eagle)

2016
Oil on canvas
Stretched, unframed
61 x 50cm

The turquoise sculptress River Agly has formed a rough and moving relief, the Gorges de Galamus; carved for two hundred million years out of rare dolomitic limestone from the Black Jurassic that has arisen from her springs. The painting is a study of stones, a close reading of the water.

£300.00

Dawn View from Madres

2017
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
60 x 60cm

Canigou in featureless blue dominates a sea of morning mist. Perched on a granite peak the artist sees into rocky abyss, mountain lake and rolling green hills. The rays of morning in white traverse the scene.

£300.00

Crystal Park

2015
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
50 x 50cm

Between two dead pines left and a leafy linden tree right, the blood of dawn coils over and on the peak of Canigou. We are in a particular forest of many needles shortly after dawn. The moment is becoming crystal clear.

£300.00

Black Mountain Blue Oak

2019
Oil on canvas
Stretched, unframed
61 x 50cm

Above the remains of last winter yet before the advent of Spring the eye looks across the hibernating lands to the crepuscular horizon of the Black Mount. (The Montagne Noire ‘Black Mountains’ border the Aude)

£350.00

Bezis

2014
Acrylic on canvas
Framed (cherry wood)
55.5 x 64.5 x 3cm

The River Bezis runs through its gorge among pines and rock. Some of the rock is red in this region. There is a rotten oak tree to the right and the cloudy sky obscures and contains the distant mountain form of the peak of Cardou.

£250.00

August Clouds Pyrenees Orientales

2019
Oil on canvas
Stretched, unframed
50 x 70cm

From a level foreground at altitude where farmland is in disuse one can see across the white ridges that form natural barriers to the walker. To the right the high valley of the Aude; straight ahead the Eastern Pyrenees exult in cloud form and summer aspect.

£350.00

April Snow Carlit

2019
Oil on canvas
Stretched, unframed
50 x 70cm

Looking down into the peace of the valley of La Valette where the first tints of Spring are becoming visible one is distracted by the huge snowstorm blowing in from the East onto the peaks.

£280.00

April Snow Canigou

2019
Oil on canvas
Stretched, unframed
40 x 50cm

Between the pillars of two mountain pine trees the view across sixty kilometres as the crow flies includes the Peak of Bugarach on the left and Cardou on the right. Tree form travels centrally down from the arboreal mass of a leaf obscured sky, the foreground a swirling of plants.

£280.00

April Snow

2015
Acrylic on canvas
Stretched, unframed
60 x 60cm

Canigou is distant, still, cold with April snow. Roses and ciste and thorn twine on rock.

£350.00

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