Martin Baillie was a gifted painter, art historian and critic who studied painting at Edinburgh College of Art where he was awarded a major travelling scholarship which enabled him to see art of the Western World. As a perfectionist he was often reluctant to consider any painting finished and as a result his home and studio were frequently stacked high with ‘unfinished’ canvases.
Celebrity Concert II is based on a drawing of the soprano Margaret Price, singing at the Academy of Music in Glasgow. We can notice Martin’s individual style and use of energetic brush strokes to help capture the atmosphere at the time of the performance. All the figures within the painting look completely engaged with the pianist and singer, whilst the open mouth and poised hands of the Soprano suggest an element of drama in her performance.