Location The Velvet Easel Gallery
298 Portobello High Street
EH15 2AS Telephone 07813916684 Opening Hours

Thu – 10 – 5pm
Fri – 10 – 5pm
Sat – 10 – 5pm
Sun – 12 – 5pm

Home / Updates / MEET THE ARTIST – Malcolm Dobbins

MEET THE ARTIST – Malcolm Dobbins

I suppose it was quite natural, coming from a life at sea, sketching and painting marine subject matter, albeit abstract, to a lesser or greater degree! Style changes with experience and seven years formal study taught me about space and colour and the juxta posing of both, that took my work from illustrative to something totally different. I have  found great joy in painting, since. I don’t know if I’m what you would call a research artist, but, I always start a painting off by throwing caution to the wind, allowing the medium to find its way across the primed gesso surface. I have recently started to work on hardwood, after years using heavy primed paper. Tools and resources used to make marks range from atomisers to sandpaper, wire brush and orbital sander, heat gun, water, oil, powders and ink fill the space, allowing the gloop to run and mix, layer upon layer until a rich patina has been achieved. I am an avid collector of things that make marks and enjoy a child like excitement when I find something that I can employ! Of course there has to be some discipline, and that comes from spending time creating a palette of colours that work together. I rarely work straight from the pot or tube, but it is a very good discipline to have. I own numerous sketch books that I use solely for this purpose, writing down the mix of colours as I go. I start this process by mixing say a bright turquoise and juxta posing this, into a grid, alongside a deep veridian mix, and carefully placing other colours into the grid. I mix enough colour to fit into smallish pots with lids, and each palette of colour will be used for a whole series of work, until the next series is ready for painting.

I forgot to mention my studio. This is purpose built (mid 90’s) and sits at the bottom of my garden. I have 300 square feet of space and it faces east, giving maximum light with one side of the roof polycarbonate. Here I spent 5 days a week working to classical music, nothing else will do. Vaughan Williams, Bach and George Gershwin being my favourite composers although my taste does vary, when I’m not painting. I visit the gym usually 3 days a week and I love fell walking. There are great walks to be had all over Scotland and I particularly like to spend time in the North west. Arisaig is a great base for walking and swimming, another great love of mine. Fish suppers from Mallaig are an absolute must when I’m up there too!

I have traditionally shown work in the Borders, Dumfries, Galloway and other parts of Scotland, simply because most of my paintings relate to the coastline and Islands of Scotland. When I was asked to show work with Roz at the The Velvet Easel Gallery I was honoured. I spent many years at Naval bases in Rosyth and South Queensferry, so to return and show in Portobello gives me a great thrill. I look forward to sharing a successful partnership with Roz and the rest of the artists who exhibit in this lovely space!

Early Fife 3