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EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS
FEBRUARY 2007


Paintings offer a slice of city living

Mixed Chameleon is the collective name of an ongoing series of exhibitions. It sees a number of artists represented by Chameleon Arts given the opportunity to stage solo displays in the beautiful surroundings of the Radisson Hotel, for periods of around two months each.

The current exhibition features the work, predominantly in oil, of Paul Donaldson. There are both portraits and landscapes on show, with the latter being vivid and full of colour and life. They have the added bonus of featuring many local scenes, views and people.

Using large, impressionistic brushstrokes, applied with confidence and flair, he captures, lively characteristics in hit sitters, and conveys all the atmosphere and energy of the outdoors in his landscapes.

Donaldson clearly enjoys clouds. Many of his works are composed from a high viewpoint. and feature more sky than land. Fife from Granton, Mist and Sky Over Leith in particular are beautiful studies with rich, impressionistic cloudscapes and, while the land is present, especially in the latter, the sky is undoubtedly the dominant element.

City Landscape represents a quality of Edinburgh that is beloved by many - the fact that, for a major city in Western Europe , the Capital has vast areas of green space. Given the title of the piece, it's surprising (to anyone but locals) just how full of grass and trees the painting is.

The huge Edinburgh Landscape, with its array of autumnal trees in the foreground, and City Landscape South, with the farmland and hills in the background, both continue, both continue this theme, showing the relative paucity of manmade structures, relative to the expanse of countryside within parts of the city.

Interestingly, for all their titles, Coastal Sky and The City and the Sea under-represent the Forth as an Edinburgh feature. In the former, it's barely seen at all, while in the latter. it's flat and inactive - in each, the water is the least developed element of the paintings.

Betraying a fondness for the great Edinburgh Landmark, Donaldson has two paintings entitled South From Arthur's Seat (I and II). and a third named Over The Trees from Arthur's Seat. The views are clearly intended to give the viewer a complete picture of Edinburgh's natural beauty, not simply to be studies of weather conditions over Scotland.

A lovely exhibition with some fine painting, which augurs well for future shows.

• Runs end February 23rd 2007

www.chameleon-arts.com/paul-donaldson/folio.html

 
   
 


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