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‘East & West’ is the latest solo exhibition of recent paintings and sculpture by Elizabeth Macdonald-Buchanan. This exhibition draws on the varied influences of her beloved Scottish Highlands, together with inspiration taken from recent trips to Rajasthan and France. The show runs from 25th until 27th November at The Sloane Club, Lower Sloane Street in London.

‘East & West’ presents a selection of Elizabeth’s work;40 recent paintings, 10 sculptural works, and several studies and working drawings. Prices range from £200 to £3,000. Her work has a broad appeal. Artists and collectors alike are interested in her landscapes and seascapes in oil, the bird studies in pencil and charcoal and the affordable bronzes including life-size mushrooms and miniature owls.

Elizabeth Macdonald–Buchanan lives and works in both London and Scotland. Trained at the Ruskin School of Art, the Royal Academy and City & Guilds Schools, she continues even now to attend classes regularly in both painting and sculpture. Frequent travel provides working inspiration and influences include the vibrant colours of India and the warmth of the South of France as seen in ‘Café in Pignon’ and the olive groves of Rimonesque.

Elizabeth is a plein-air painter and paints what she sees and ‘feels’ in a landscape. The viewer is drawn into the conversation of the brightly clad elders talking in the midst of the desert in ‘Rajasthan, Looking Towards Aravelli Hills’ and towards the beauty of the ‘Camels’ juxtaposed against the desert. She heightens the raw beauty of her native Scotland as can be seen in her study of ‘North Uist, looking towards Skye’ or the haunting image of the ‘Purple Rocks of Solway’. Her versatility as an artist is further illustrated by her pencil study of a ‘Cormorant’, which has the detailing and intensity seen in the work of John James Audubon, the 19th century wildlife artist and naturalist.

The sculptures on show are table–top works, mainly from her recent Indian trip. Elizabeth is also well-known for her life-size works, which can be seen in some public collections such as Dawyck Botanical Gardens on the Scottish Borders, and the private collections of both Sir Evelyn and Lady Rothschild and Mr Leo de Rothschild.

Her sculptural style is in part influenced by Prince Paul Troubetzkoy, the 19th century Italian-born sculptor to Belle Époque Society, and can be seen particularly in her study of the ‘Indian Goat’ and the ‘Indian Water Buffalo’. The buffalo shows both the monumentality of the animal, together with its bony vulnerability. Elizabeth imbues all her animals with character, as can be seen with the ‘Heron’ awaiting a meal or the spirited ‘Lipizzaner’. This piece was cast by Susse Fondeur, Paris; the oldest Parisian foundry, used by such artists as Arp, Giacometti, Duchamp-Villon, Hepworth and Zadkine. Elizabeth models directly from the animal or model where possible, assisted by working drawings.

Graham Arnold of the Ruralists, commenting on Elizabeth Macdonald-Buchanan’s painting style, said: ‘It is unusual in the present climate of ‘sensational’ art, to find an artist that finds inspiration from the act of observing. Elizabeth Macdonald-Buchanan carries on a long tradition of painting in the open air; spending long hours before a particular landscape often in considerable discomfort. This is not a process of copying. It is rather a process of careful selection and observation.’ The same comments could be said to apply to the artist’s sculptural studies in equal measure.


Photographs available

For further information:

Katie Pertwee
Tel: +44(0)7939 155 277

Media Enquiries:
Russell Elliott
Cassleton Elliott & Co. Ltd.
Mob: +44(0)7808 403 963

Notes to Editors:

Elizabeth Macdonald - Buchanan RSBS

Following a formal training at the Ruskin School of Art (1957-1959) with Percy Horton, Elizabeth subsequently worked with Graham and Anne Arnold of the Ruralists as well as studying as a guest student at the Academy Schools under Peter Greenham.

She turned to sculpting 18 years ago and following early encouragement from Jonathan Kenworthy has, since 1992, attended City and Guilds open studios under the guidance of Alan Sly. Her work is much inspired by life in the Highlands of Scotland, as well as her painting trips abroad. She lives in London and Scotland.

Solo Shows:

• Travels at Home and Abroad – Ebury Galleries, London (2005)
• Mainly Scotland – Ebury Galleries, London (2003)
• Confederate Hall, Hickory Tree Farm – Virginia, USA (2001) – to coincide with the Virginia Gold Cup
• Gallery 27, Cork Street, London (1998)
• The Christopher Wood Gallery - Mallett & Son (Antiques) Limited (1995)

Mixed Exhibitions:

• Aigas Centre, Scotland (1992)
• Royal Scottish Academy (1989 / 97)
• New English Art Club (1985)
• Festival Gallery, Bath (1985)
• Royal Academy Summer Show (1982 /3)
• Royal Institute of Watercolours (1980)

Her work is in the following collections:

• Sir Evelyn & Lady Rothschild
• Mr Leo de Rothschild
• The late Sir Brinsley Ford
• Dawyck Botanical Gardens, Peebles
• Lady Howard de Walden
• Mr John Warren

Observations by Graham Arnold on the work of Elizabeth Macdonald–Buchanan.

‘The landscape, particularly the coast of North West Scotland where Elizabeth frequently paints is forever changing under the influence of the atmosphere from minute to minute. Macdonald-Buchanan’s art is not that of an impression but depends on an emotional response to the experience of landscape. Her paintings are remarkable in that they avoid the pitfalls and clichés that await so many painters of the landscape. They do this because she brings no pre-conceptions, either of style or method to her work. This is her great strength. Her favourite subjects are those landscapes she knows and lives amongst and her response to them is both refreshing and forceful. She gives us the beauty with a spontaneously fresh personal perception.

There is not the slightest hint of decoration, or painterly qualities for their own sake. We are presented with canvases that have a power of images that we feel has been won at great risk by an artist of singular mind and purpose. The subjects could be seen as picturesque but the paintings are not in anyway picturesque. They are almost raw, made from passion, but also discipline. Elizabeth Macdonald–Buchanan is essentially plein-air’ist – wanting to be before nature and to set down nothing that is not experienced or not an immediate response to the forms and spaces before her.

This is equally true of her sculpture. Several fine bronzes of recent years and travels are in this exhibition. All show the same careful selection of forms as can be seen in the paintings. The sculpture however possesses a blending of naturalism and stylisation which expresses the animals’ character and forcefulness. The modelling process, directly if possible from the animal or model, is assisted by drawings of which several are also shown in the exhibition

The feeling and expression shown by Elizabeth Macdonald–Buchanan in these spirited and monumental bronzes and paintings is a measure of her quite exceptional talent.’

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