Joan Eardley | From Glasgow to Catterline

An Expressive Journey from Slums to Sea

A selection of artworks by the important and prolific, though sadly short-lived, Scottish artist Joan Eardley were offered for sale in the Scottish Paintings & Sculpture auction on 4 June. The offered drawings, sketches and paintings represent key subjects and techniques within Eardley’s extensive oeuvre. Charlotte Riordan, Head of Contemporary Art and a Scottish Paintings specialist, explores Eardley's compelling subjects, both urban and rural.



Joan Eardley

Sold for £4,250 (premium inclusive).



Eardley was devoted to Glasgow, particularly to the fast-disappearing areas to the east which were being torn down and re-developed. She recognised that the sense of community which


had thrived within the tenement closes and backcourts was vanishing along with the old buildings and subsequently dedicated herself to capturing what remained in her artworks.  Joan Eardley | Boy in a Blue Shirt | Estimate £10,000-15,000

Sold for £30,000 (premium inclusive).


Nothing represented this essence for Eardley more than the local children: “…they are Glasgow – this richness Glasgow has – I hope it will always have – a living thing, an intense quality – you can never know what you are going to do but as long as Glasgow has this I’ll always want to paint.”



Joan Eardley | A View of Eardley's Townhead Studio
Sold for £2,500 (premium inclusive).


Eardley had an attic studio in Townhead at 21 Cochrane Street, now long since demolished. It was extremely basic, consisting only of a large free-standing stove, a cooker, a workbench and sink. It did, however, have a glazed ceiling and outer wall making it perfect for painting. It was here that the majority of her famous depictions of the local street children were painted. Eardley had a particularly strong relationship with the Samson family whose twelve children of various ages all sat for her at one point or another. She had her favourites amongst them – those that would come knocking on her door asking to be painted – and they recur as recognisable characters in her drawings.



Sold for £6,750 (premium inclusive).



Children were not her only subjects, however, and she was also drawn to older sitters; her studies empathetic, respectful and evocative of a sense of pathos. The small work offered here demonstrates Eardley's innate talent for capturing gesture and mannerism, using even the scarcest and simplest of lines.



Joan Eardlery | Stacks at Sunset

Sold for £9,375 (premium inclusive).


Eardley first visited the village of Catterline, in the north east of Scotland by chance in 1950. Captivated by the tempestuous sea views offered from its cliff-top vantage point, she ultimately divided her time between Glasgow and Catterline for the rest of her life. She lived and worked in various properties, and became a well-known figure in the village. Eardley continued to paint in all weathers creating the powerful, expressive works that so honestly capture the beauty and brutality of the north-east coastline.



Joan Eardley | The Horse-Drawn Coal Cart

Sold for £3,000 (premium inclusive).


Our next paintings auction is Contemporary & Post-War Art on 13th August 2014.
The deadline for consignments is 30th June. If you have artworks you would like to consign to this sale, please contact Charlotte Riordan | 0131 557 8844 |
The next Scottish Paintings & Sculpture auction will be in December 2015.
If you are interested in consigning to this sale, please contact Nick Curnow | 0131 557 8844 |



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