The artist as described by Peter Davies,
Tim Craven and Dr. Alan Wilkinson
“True to her Scottish origins, the energetic and gestural painter Fiona McIntyre (born 1963) is a colourist,
extolling the virtues of painterly spontaneity to capture often elusive effects of multivarious landscapes in flux.
Using decisive sweeps of paint or charcoal her works have the earthy gravitas of the (early) Van Gogh -
inspired Cumbrian painter Sheila Fell while also, in terms of her strong palette, evoking the chromatic
romanticism of Innes and John…"
Peter Davies - writer and art critic
“Every artist wants to have an original voice and so must deal in some way with the baggage of art history. Most are hybrids of different ideas and styles. Fiona McIntyre’s superlative paintings have evolved from many
and diverse influences. The number three is significant for Fiona’s art practice: a plein-air sketch informs a
worked-up and carefully composed study which becomes in turn a blueprint for the painting. There are also, I believe, three special qualities in the work that make it stand out as powerfully seductive and true. She displays a conspicuous passion for her subject that pervades every touch. A highly distinctive and vigorous draughtsmanship that is a masterpiece of lyrical and rhythmical design and her vocabulary of forms resonates perfectly with the breadth of handling. Above all Fiona is a consummate colourist in sympathy with Turner, the Scottish in British artists who must contend with a gloomy, monochrome climate. The artist’s gene is strong; most know from whom they have inherited their talents. Fiona was lucky enough to inherit multiple doses that include the visual arts as well as music and a love of poetry.
Fiona is a Romantic artist. Although deemed outmoded and unfashionable with the onset of Impressionism and the subsequent Modern Movement at the end of the nineteenth century, embodied in the work of Turner and Constable, Blake and Palmer, Romanticism remains deeply rooted in the British psyche and keeps rising to the surface after repeated duckings… More recently, in championing our fragile, natural ecology, a political, cultural and social agenda especially popular with the young generation, a Romantic sensibility is ascendant again on a broad front, relevant and vital for the present day. Fiona’s art builds on the long tradition of British Romantic artists that continues to connect with and inspire many who, although now largely urbanised, remain endlessly fascinated by emotive and powerful representations of landscape.”
Tim Craven - Southampton City Art Gallery
curator and artist.
Wilkinson: As an art historian I have long been fascinated by the sources and influences
of works of art on artists. One of the pleasures of our friendship has been lending each
other books from our libraries. I was delighted that my copy of Geoffrey Grigson’s Samuel Palmer: The
Visionary Years (1947) made such an immediate impact. For me, the works from his Shoreham period (1826-35) are so rich and dense, like the intensity of language from great passages of Shakespeare. What was it that
resonated with you about Palmer?
McIntyre: There were several things really. He reminded me of particular artists I had been looking at over the
years, such as the Group of Seven, Turner and Constable. Palmer was harking back to an idyllic world,
living in harmony with nature, which is what I am all about, as are my fellow Arborealists. Today there is such
a disconnect with the natural world and with this goes a loss of so many things: colour, language, awareness of
seasons and an empathy with plants and animals. We are losing the ability to appreciate the nuances of
nature. As Emily Dickinson wrote:
We noticed smallest things –
Things overlooked before
By this great light upon our Minds
Italicized – as ‘twere.
I feel increasingly that my work is a reaction to our desensitised world. Palmer was acutely aware of how his own world was changing for similar reasons due to industrialisation, and so he is to some extent a kindred spirit.”
Extract from ‘Fiona McIntyre: A Tree Within’
Published by Sansom & Company, 2016
Dr. Alan Wilkinson - Former curator at The Art Gallery of Ontario and art historian of more than 65
books including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.