Title: The Wings of Spring (Aengus in Winter)
Size: 61cm x 61cm
Medium: Oil on Canvas Board

Additional Information
Inspired pieces and links to them in the National Galleries of Scotland collection:

Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) - Trees in the Snow, Oil on Canvas, 72.3cm x 91.5cm

John Duncan (1866-1945) - Angus Og, God of Love and Courtesy, Putting a Spell of Summer Calm on the Sea (1908), Oil on Canvas, 152.4cm x 102.6cm

"First of all, thanks are due to Alan at Fidra Fine Art for the invitation to take part...the brief was disarmingly simple, choose a work in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland and use that as inspiration – a jumping off point for a work of one’s own yet still relatable to the piece chosen. The choosing proved to be a rather more complex affair however, at first I made a short list of half a dozen or so, whittling it down to one whose atmosphere ‘spoke to me’ and that I could perhaps develop into a work of my own. This was Courbet’s ‘Trees in the Snow’, an oil from around 1865; the more I thought about it however the more I wondered how best to approach the subject. To simply base a painting of my own on Courbet’s perfectly fine as it is painting seemed unsatisfactory. While considering this dilemma I was kind of idly scrolling through works in the NGS collection again when I came upon one that I hadn’t noticed before, this was John Duncan’s ‘Angus Og, God of Love and Courtesy, Putting a Spell of Summer Calm on the Sea’, an oil painted in 1908 and right away I knew I had my solution. Angus, or Aengus is a Celtic god associated with youth, love, summer and poetic inspiration and so I thought of Angus/Aengus in the winter of his existence, as an old man dressed against the cold...bringing the first signs of spring and rebirth by releasing a bird from his hands. ‘...The god who to the world doth bring, This morn the promise of the spring’ (Mackenzie, Donald Alexander (1917). Wonder Tales from Scottish Myth and Legend).   He is often depicted with birds and so I made the foliage in Courbet’s painting into wing shapes in order to affirm this and echo the bird that he releases. The pose of my Aengus I based on the John Duncan painting but made him old and gave him warm clothing. The wing shapes throughout the painting gave me the title...’The Wings of Spring (Aengus in Winter)’." James Tweedie

Price: £2500

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About the Artist

James Tweedie, born 1951, has exhibited widely since 1972 with many solo exhibitions in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh; has also been included in numerous group and survey shows in Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, exhibitions of Scottish Art in Nurnberg, Amsterdam, Paris, Bilbao. Awards include the William Bowie Award, the Maude Gemmill Hutcheson Prize and the Scottish Arts Club Award. Has work in many collections across the UK, France, Canada and the USA. “The paintings are usually about my experience of places that I know, altered during the making in an attempt to express the mystery of our relationship to the world; moments of epiphany, wonder and perhaps a visual poetry that cannot be explained in words.

Dream-like, ethereal and uncanny, James Tweedie’s urban landscapes are threaded with surrealism and mystery. Looming storm clouds and sprawling shadows unfurl across Tweedie’s canvases, shrouding ordinary landscapes with a layer of gravity. Taking odd corners of towns and cities, Tweedie transforms familiar surroundings into intriguing scenes which beckon the mind to wander.Thompson’s Gallery, London.

"Tweedie...excels in moody realism and mystery" Clare Henry, The Herald.

"...the ability to render the ordinary extraordinary..." Giles Sutherland, The Times.

Former member of Glasgow League of Artists, 1974/5 and The Glasgow Group, 1988/91.

Elected RGI (Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts) 2016.


Compass Gallery, Glasgow: 1972, 1993, 2003, 2006, 2011
Hillhead Underground Gallery, Glasgow: 1981
Open Circle, Glasgow: 1986, 1989
Arts Guild, Greenock: 1987
The Inn on the Green, Glasgow: 1989
Cormund Gallery, Glasgow: 1990, 1991
Flagstones, Thurso: 1997
House for an Art Lover, Glasgow: 2007
Thompson’s Gallery, London: 2007, 2009, 2017
Scottish Arts Club, Edinburgh: 2017


Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, regular exhibitor and….

Invited Artist, Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition 2010 curated by Ian McCulloch.

Society of Scottish Artists, Edinburgh

Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, Glasgow, regular exhibitor.

Paisley Art Institute, Paisley

Kunsthaus, Nurnberg, W. Germany, 1985, exhibition of ‘Contemporary Scottish Art’ and touring to four other venues.

The Compass Contribution, ‘21 Years of Contemporary Art’, Tramway, Glasgow, 1990

‘Surrealist Tendencies in Contemporary Scottish Art’, Open Circle, Glasgow, 1990

Fundacion Alzate, Bilbao, Spain, 1990

‘Patron and Painters’, Smith Art Gallery & Museum, Stirling, 1995

‘Compass Celebrates the Life of Robert Burns’, touring exhibition to five venues, 1996

‘Pride and Passion’, Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh, 1996

‘A Patch of their Own’, Compass Gallery touring exhibition to seven venues, 1997/8

Critics Choice, (Clare Henry), Glasgow Art Club, 1997

‘Contemporary Scottish Art’, touring exhibition to Maastricht, Amsterdam, Aachen, Rheims, Troyes & Paris, 1997/8

Contemporary Art Fair, The Hague, Holland, April 1998

Art 1992-2010 inclusive, The Business Design Centre, Islington, London, with Compass Gallery

Glasgow Art Fairs, with Compass Gallery

Edinburgh Gallery, Edinburgh

Thompson’s Gallery, London and Aldeburgh

Red Rag Gallery, Stow-on-the-Wold

Langham Fine Art, Bury St. Edmunds

Glasgow Group 50th Anniversary exhibition, Glasgow City Concert Hall 2008

Invited artist, Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition 2010

“The Force and Form of Memory”, Compass Gallery, Glasgow and thereafter touring to many venues across Scotland, throughout 2011/12.

Stafford Gallery, London 2012 – 2018 inclusive.

RSW (The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour), Edinburgh.

Realisme Art Fair, Amsterdam 2015, with Thompson’s Gallery.


“We’re All Big Boys Now”, twenty minute film about Glasgow League of Artists, Siddharta Films, 1975

“Glasgow Group 1958-1990”; 36p ill.b/w, pub. Glasgow Group, 1990

“Surrealist Tendencies in Contemporary Scottish Art”; 32p ill. b/w, pub. Open Circle, Glasgow, 1990

(+ Author of introduction and notes on artists)

“James Tweedie – New Glasgow Paintings”; 12p ill. Col & b/w pub. Compass Gallery, Glasgow, 1993

“James Tweedie – New Paintings”, 6 sided card, full colour, Compass Gallery, Glasgow, 2003

“James Tweedie  - Imagination & Reality” 6 sided card, full colour, Compass Gallery, Glasgow, 2006

“James Tweedie” 4 sided card, full colour, Thompson’s Gallery, London, 2007

“The Glasgow Group, 1958-2008”, 110p ill. colour throughout, Glasgow, 2008

“James Tweedie” 4 sided card, full colour, Thompson’s Gallery, London, 2009

“Away from Convention: Sophie Levi & James Tweedie” 24p full colour, Thompson’s Gallery, London, 2017

The Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition 2010 catalogue.

“The Dictionary of Scottish Painters, 1600 to the Present”, ed. Julian Halsby and Paul Harris, pub. Birlin 2010.

Works on the ArtUK website; https://artuk.org/discover/artists/tweedie-james-b-1951


Wm. Bowie award, Paisley Art Institute, 2003

Maude Gemmill Hutcheson Prize, Royal Scottish Academy, 2010

Scottish Arts Club Award, Royal Scottish Academy, 2015