Ann Cowan - Tyninghame East Lothian
Title: Tyninghame 1
Size: 14cm x 13cm
Medium: Mixed Media


About the Artist

Dunbar Sketchbooks - Ann Cowan

My recent body of work concentrates on the East Lothian town of Dunbar.  It’s an area I have been familiar with and very fond of for many years and, in recent times, I have been visiting frequently - walking my dog at Belhaven, exploring the town and getting to recognise all the boats in the busy harbour. 

When the opportunity to exhibit with Dominique Cameron at Fidra Fine Art was first mentioned, I knew instinctively that I wanted to paint Dunbar and to observe all its different aspects in a series of expressive sketchbooks.

The town has a wealth of beautiful old red sandstone buildings with interesting architectural details.  Orange pan tiles form wonderful roofscapes.  The industrial outskirts are grittier but just as interesting in terms of composition.  The harbour is a constant source of inspiration with its multitude of fishing boats and lobster creels.  Follow the cliffs of deep burnt sienna along the coast, past Winterfield, to Belhaven and you discover miles of sandy beach with tall ochre grasses set against colourful beach chalets.

Hopefully this exhibition tells a visual story of the town whilst avoiding too literal an interpretation of the subject.

My work focuses on architecture and the urban environment. I spend a lot of time drawing on location. I look for strong architectural shapes and compositions and take inspiration from my home city of Edinburgh as well as the East Lothian coastline. The larger paintings develop from ideas in my sketchbooks and are built up over time with layers of collage, acrylic paint and ink. The smaller pieces are often taken directly from my sketchbooks. I find the process of arranging papers and surfaces combined with painting and drawing very liberating and it drives the direction of my work.

Born in 1974, I studied law at Edinburgh University and qualified as a solicitor in 2000. I worked in private practice for nine years before taking a break to start a family. Instead of returning to the legal profession, I decided to pursue my interest in art and from 2011 I studied three short courses at Edinburgh College of Art covering landscape, cityscape and mixed media. Since then, I have worked full time as an artist and have exhibited in a range of group exhibitions and have had two solo shows at The Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh.


Fidra Fine Art Summer Show, Gullane
The Atelier Gallery, Edinburgh
Fidra Fine Art, Architectural Landscapes, Gullane
The Morningside Gallery, Edinburgh

Solo Exhibition, Open Eye Gallery
Morningside Gallery
Mixed exhibition MacMillan Art Show
St. Columba’s Hospice Art Exhibition

Edinburgh Art Fair
MacMillan Art Show
Fidra Fine Art, Mixed Exhibition
Open Eye Gallery, Christmas exhibition

Solo exhibition, Open Eye Gallery

Glasgow Contemporary Art Fair
St.Columba's Hospice Art Exhibition
MacMillan Art Show
Open Eye Gallery Christmas Exhibition

Mixed Exhibition, Gallery Ten
St.Columba's Hospice Art Exhibition
Open Eye Gallery Christmas Exhibition
Edinburgh Art Fair

RSW Annual Open Exhibition
VAS Annual Open Exhibition
Mixed Exhibition, Strathearn Gallery
RSA Annual Open Exhibition
Open Eye Gallery Christmas Exhibition

RSA Annual Open Exhibition