The landscapes of rob fairley

4 min läsning

Rob Fairley is an exceptional painter and human being. I first came across his paintings some time ago and have included him as a special guest artist in Tubes magazine before this Landscape special issue. Rob’s landscape paintings of mountains I find astonishing therefore I had to include his work as the front and back page of this Special Landscape painters Tubes feature on the 'Issuu' platform . The paintings speak for themselves of course, but to give readers a very good idea of the artists ‘art-life’ here is a fantastic review written for the Alpine Journal, by Robin N. Cambell.”

Comment by Denis Taylor. Editor painters TUBES magazine


" Theie an five distinct strands m the rope of Fairler's artist, crofter, educator mountaineer and
writer He was a pupil at George Watson's School in Edinburgh in the 1960s where his interest in mountains was fostered by Archie Hendry, who taught languages there and who also influenced Robin Smith and Mal Duff, Fairley’s exact contemporary. Fairley’s early mastery of mountain landscape drawing is evident in the Eiger drawing in ‘John Harlin’, painted while still a schoolboy.

After graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 1975, he moved to Mallaig briefly before becoming the sole human inhabitant of the tidal island Shona Beag in Loch Moidart until 1979 when he moved to a croft at Alisary on Loch Ailort. During this period, besides regular landscape work, Fairley practiced a form of ephemeral shamanistic ‘land art’, occasionally recorded by drawing or by pinhole photography from cameras constructed from animal carcasses, stone enclosures, etc.

To some degree ‘A line made by Red Deer’, and ‘a line of fox bones’ reflect these early interests. At the same time, he did not neglect mountaineering, climbing regularly at a high level in winter and summer, usually solo except for the company of his intrepid collie Jinny, who dodged the cruxes but never failed to greet him at the top of the routes. The two huge pencil drawings of Ben Nevis ‘Building in a landscape’ and ‘Figure in a landscape’ date from late in this period. According to Fairley, they were done in his croft/studio by the light of oil and Tilley lamps, working more or less naked because of the extreme heat they generated. These are extraordinary works, perhaps the most impressive mountain drawings in pencil since Edward Lear’s Lake District drawings in 1836.

In the mid 1980s, Fairley resumed acquaintance with Mal Duff. Duff had taken two poets, Andrew Greig and Kathleen Jamie, to the Mustagh Tower and had th

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