Inspired by Artists

This year is the centenary of Joan Eardley’s birth and there are a number of exhibitions being held to celebrate that fact.

Joan Eardley was painting in Glasgow in the late fifties and early sixties at the same time as Herbert Whone. In his book Glasgow in Transition, there is a photograph of the two of them at one of the exhibitions in the McLellan galleries in Glasgow.

Reading more about Joan Eardley online recently and thinking of the various exhibitions planned to celebrate her life, I read Edwin Morgan’s poem about one of Joan Eardley’s paintings that he owned. (This was on the Association for Scottish Literary Studies Facebook page.)

Reading that poem made me decide to do some more work on a poem I had written recently


There were always a few

stacked against the wall

in your attic studio

ready for the next exhibition.

Your Yorkshire landscapes

taught me how to see

beauty in old gates,

neglected farm buildings,

carts abandoned in corners,

mill chimneys beside canals;

scenes of a work landscape

no thatched prettiness .

You’d moved back to your roots

after a time in Glasgow

influenced by Eardley so

Glasgow trams, tenements

were superceded by Yorkshire

gritstone.  I remember

heady scents of paint and turps

as I entered your studio

a room filled not just with easel,

paintings , piano and fiddle

but fossils, curios collected

over years to inspire, as you did.

You nurtured deepening thoughts,

philosophical search and now

you live on, not only in your art and books

but in many memories and hearts.

i.m. Herbert (Bert) Whone – 1925 – 2011

 musician, artist, writer and friend

Glasgow tram (photo of a card)

Colne Valley near Slaithwaite (photo of our original oil painting bought 1967)