Attn: Lads and Lassies

Homeschooling is becoming old hat for us now. We’ve settled into a routine that my kids are comfortable with and that gives me anxiety because I never know what’s happening. They just disappear into their rooms with their tablets and worksheets and I assume they are learning something in there. 

To give myself some semblance of control over their learning, I asked my Mom to FaceTime them a lesson. She did botany first, then genealogy, which has inspired this post. I have a lot of ancestors from Scotland, but can you name any Scottish artists? Because I couldn’t. Happily, it didn’t take much digging to unearth some fantastic highland art!

First up: The Skating Minister by Henry Raeburn (who served as King George IV’s portrait painter, FYI.)

Nice form, Reverend!

The minister featured in this painting is Rev. Robert Walker (which doesn’t sound very Scottish, I know. Sorry.) He was ordained at age fifteen, and good for him, but what I really love about his story is that he was also a member of the first figuring skating club in the world- Edinburgh Skating Club! In the town where I grew up, there was a nun that would rollerblade around in her full habit, and it always made me so happy to see her. I bet Walker’s parishioners loved watching him double axle around town too. 

David Peat was a Scottish filmmaker, but also a talented photographer. I absolutely could not resist putting up this picture he took in 1968:

The title really says it all: Grubby Boy With Hand

This one just really speaks to me right now, because after a solid month of quarantine, we are pretty grubby around here. 

Next to Henry Raeburn, Edward Atkinson Hornel is perhaps Scotland’s most prominent artist. I cannot believe I’ve never seen his art. I think it’s incredible. The detail is so impressive and the subjects are fascinating. 

Druids Bringing in the Mistletoe. Druids! Like in Outlander!

Aren’t you just dying for more information about what’s happening in this scene? I love it. Here is another with a different feel, but just as impressive I think:

Wonderment. Isn’t this poetic? 

If his art looks gorgeously textured, it’s because it is. Hornel loved experimenting with different techniques to achieve lots of texture. He was a member of the elite “Glasgow Boys,” a group of male artists with strong ties to Glasgow, and very regal names (though I don’t think that was a prerequisite.) They were all about naturalism, and became Scottish icons. Then the Bay City Rollers came along and stole their thunder. Like seventy years later. But still. 

Alba gu brath! Scotland forever!

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