I love the layering of paint and textures, the colour, the rawness and energy Eardley infused her paintings with. Her work can be seen in many galleries – this link to the BBC arts website leads to a slide show of Eardley's paintings and where they can be seen.
Born in Sussex, England, Eardley’s parents were dairy farmers. The family moved to London to stay with
relatives, after her father, a survivor of a World War I gas attack, committed suicide when Eardley was nine. From London they moved to Glasgow, where Eardley had her studio in a deprived area of the town. Here she drew poor street children and dock yard scenes, carried her art supplies in a pram.
During the latter part of her life, Eardley bought a cottage at Catterline – no electricity, running water or sanitation – winters must have been brutally hard, facing out to the cold North Sea.
Joan Eardley died at the very young age of 42 from cancer, which she refused to have treated. Her ashes
were scattered on Catterline beach. Since her death – her work has become sought after, there have been
speculations over her health and private life, and her work and life’s story have inspired many, many people.
If you have not yet seen any of Joan Eardley’s work – I would thoroughly recommend it - she was an artist who went out there and painted.
(Incidentally – The Scottish Gallery is just a few doors down Dundas Street from the fabulous
Greyfriars Art Shop – just the placefor buying materials for that post exhibition burst of inspiration).