Tugs
By Alison Philp

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Year
1996
Media
Oil Painting
Subject Matter
Sea and Boats
Reg. Number
P655
Size
111 x 111 cm

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This piece, produced by Alison Philip, portrays a pair of tugboats moored in the Leith Docks. Alison painted this piece while she was working in an artist collective in Leith and was inspired by the boats moored at the nearby docks. The pale sky and airy quality of the piece are typical of Alison's paintings of Leith Docks. She notes that the East Coast of Scotland is harsher and greyer than on her native West Coast. Alison has always lived near the sea and her work often expresses her personal ties to fishing boats, seascapes and coastal scenes. She chose to paint on a large canvas in order to convey a sense of size and strength from the shape of the boats.

This artwork is highly impressionistic and reflects the artist's love of spontaneity in its simple brushstrokes and palette of primary colours. The whole picture suggests water - the tugs themselves are blurred together yet distinctive and the wavy brushstrokes create the impression that the piece is being viewed through water. The tugs stand out from the tumult of the sky and the muddied reflection of the water. The artist states that details like rigging and deck fittings are suggested as "an abstract collection of colour, shape and line."

Alison Philip was born in 1968 and attended Edinburgh College of Art in the 1980s. Her work has been displayed in several galleries across Scotland. Alison's employs "a spontaneous approach to the subject and a lively used of paint to depict the mood and the colours I perceive."

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