Barbara Rae RA, Winter Light, Lammermoor, acrylic and collage on canvas, 1997
© Royal Academy of Arts, London

Object of the Month - January 2015


Barbara Rae RA, Winter Light, Lammermoor, acrylic and oil on canvas, 1997

Rae studied at the Edinburgh College of Art from 1961 to 1965 where she was awarded a travel scholarship allowing her to work in France and Spain in 1966. Since then, she has travelled widely, drawing inspiration from such diverse environments as South Africa, Norway, Australia, Italy, California and New Mexico. However, it is the untamed and rugged terrain of north-west Scotland to which she repeatedly returns.

This painting was based on drawings made in January and February 1997 at the Lammermuir Hills. Rae specifically visited this area in winter, in order to capture the starkness of the landscape. In the bare and isolated terrain, the shape and structure of features such as burnt heather, fences and tracks became more defined. Rae also explained how she discovered that 'during January's snow there were some incredible sunset-quality colours: inky blues, pale mauves and lavenders, pink fluffy clouds. Obviously strong rose and purple were not present - but the feeling, the atmosphere of pink, indigo and purple was there.'