The other resolution I wanted to complete was to visit an Edinburgh tourist attraction. I’d had my heart set on the Botanic Garden until I realised it was outside the city and would require a little day trip. But one where I would have to fit in flyering and being back to do the show at 6.20pm. I didn’t feel organised enough for all that.
I looked up a couple of places before I went for a swim. I considered the castle but there didn’t seem enough time to do it properly. I considered the Camera Obscura. Eventually I settled on the Scottish National Art Gallery. What swung it for me was seeing it had the famous self portrait by Rembrandt. That, and it was free.
One of the main reasons for splitting these last blog entries is because I have tons of photos from the gallery. I always feel like a philistine taking photos of paintings in a gallery: running round snapping at things like I’m collecting Pokemon. In Paris, Kerry and I had literally half an hour to spend in the Louvre: running from hall to hall, snap, snap, snap, stare at the Mona Lisa, run away.
I always try to get the photographing bit out the way then admire the artwork properly for a bit with my own eyes rather than through a lens. However, I make no apologies for the speed with which I negotiate an art gallery. …I know what I like, to coin a phrase. And just tend to let myself gravitate to what attracts me, noting the artist afterwards in case I get round to researching them later. (I never do.)
At the Scottish National Gallery there was an exhibition at the moment of young Scottish artists including a room of David Shrigley, who does cartoons for the Guardian magazine.
I also loved these paintings by Callum Innes. My shitty iPhone photos don’t do justice to them (and they won’t do justice to a lot of the paintings I saw). They are huge and your vision is filled with this beautiful sense of colour.
I wasn’t allowed to look at the “Art Of Golf” because I hadn’t bought a ticket. Which was a relief.
I passed some Whistler drawings.
The Rembrandt was effing amazing. Comprised of all these amazing opulent velvet chocolate browns. The eyes seems so sad and it was so lifelike. You’d be drawn into the face and then notice a splash of paint on an eyebrow reminding you of the artist painting himself. Just captivating. I’ve not been so enthralled by a painting since the Mona Lisa.
Then I found the impressionist room.
The first thought, the very first thought, that came into my head was that when Van Gogh finished this painting he must have let the paintbrush fall to the floor and strutted around with his arms out, like a comic finishing a killer gag.
It was unlike anything else I’d seen in the gallery. So vibrant. So bold. So full-on.
Afterwards, I stepped out into the park. I wished I’d found the Gallery earlier in the run. It was such a peaceful respite from the fringe. I felt energised somehow (momentarily). I walked back toward The Caves to do my final show…