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Greer Ralston

Greer Ralston graduated from Glasgow School of Art in the 1980’s when her work was mainly portrait/figurative based reflecting the trend at GSA at the time. After graduating she went on to exhibit in the National Portrait Gallery in London and was awarded the Greenshields International Scholarship for figurative painting.

As well as figurative painting, in recent years her interest has settled on nature and in particular flowers with peonies being a favourite. She sees these pieces as individual portraits of flowers, occasionally large in scale, depicting them in a more sculptural and less domestic manner.

Greer’s figurative works often explore difficult and complex themes such as sexuality, loss and illness, so for the artist her flower and recent still life work, reflect a lighter and more aesthetic view of the world.
No matter what the subject matter is, the process and how the work is constructed is something fundamental to Greer. Drawing is something that has always been very important to her. She always works in oils, no matter the scale, starting with the brush outlining the shapes on a tonal background. After a tonal underpainting is complete the next stage is to examine colour and texture, this is completed by many thin layers of glazing giving the piece tremendous depth. This was a technique that was developed before art school when she studied with the late Alberto Morroco.

The study of art history and in particular women’s art history is something that is very important to Greer as she has been influenced by many of her predecessors such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Kathe Kollwitz, Gluck and Georgia O’Keeffe to name a few.

Examining what has gone before, a return to nature, and also to her rural roots in the countryside will hopefully keep producing the inspiration for future work.

"The flower is very much the main element of the composition, whether it emerges from the darkness, is spotlit or occasionally with wild flowers as part of a minimal landscape. The flower is always the star of the show."