Sunset over Moorland

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John Houston
Born Buckhaven, Fife, 1930-2008

Sunset over Moorland 1973

Oil on canvas
Presented 1976 by the Contemporary Art Society
Museum number 1-1976

Houston studied at Edinburgh College of Art and later joined the staff there. In 1969 he was invited by Mr and Mrs S. C. Johnson of Johnson Wax to paint at their country home at Lake Owen, northern Wisconsin. The flatness of the area and the stimulus provided by an exhibition of modern American painting seen in New York on his return journey, inspired a new direction in Houston’s work, as shown in this painting.

Houston has commented about this painting: “In 1972 my wife, Elizabeth Blackadder, and I stayed at Lybster in Caithness where I did quite a number of sketches. I produced all the paintings of Caithness back in my studio in Edinburgh. Most were of seas and skies, this is one of the few I did of the flat moorland interior of Caithness. Most of my paintings are done in my studio from drawings, sketches and memories of the subject. Sometimes you see too much when painting on the spot, this can dilute the first strong impression.”

Sunset over Moorland
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