John Lowrie Morrison has painted the west coast of Scotland since the early 1960’s. He paints the light of the west - the light that bathes the Inner & Outer Hebrides.
He uses strong colour to express that light and sees his paintings – not in the traditional chiaroscuro of light and dark - but in darkness versus colour,which is what his painting is about: an allegorical description of the human spirit.
Morrison’s roots are in the Outer Hebrides – Kyles. Isle of Harris – where family cousins still work and live. Many childhood visits to family on Skye at Portnalong gave him a love of the croft.
The Croft on the Machair
The Croft on the Shore
The Croft on the edge of the Atlantic
The Croft on the edge of the World
The Croft endures even as a ruin but eventually only the rocks will remain.
Morrison records the human imprint on Argyll and the Isles and informs his paintings by a study of the geography, history, geology and - most of all - folklore of a particular area.
Simple human imprints have always been important to him: the pole next to the croft, carrying power or phone lines; the gate from croft to shore or runrigs, the ladder constantly leaning against the croft wall – signifying the constant struggle against water & wind. And of course the peat stack – becoming rarer and rarer as island families rely less on peat.
Morrison also uses religious imagery based on biblical sources – something he has done since the late sixties at Glasgow School of Art. Some of his biblical based work can be seen on this website.