American artist Jon Schueler found more than just inspiration on the wild west coast of Scotland
Jon Schueler spent much of his time in the clouds. In the early days, it was as a navigator during the Second World War; later, it was at his home in Mallaig on the west coast. When he first came to Scotland from America in 1957 he was searching for a place where he could be as close to nature as possible; somewhere he could experience the elements fully and honestly.
The Wisconsin-born artist had a special connection to Scotland that didn’t just inform his work but held him in its grip. “The confusion of my life had been yearly compounded for 40 years,” he wrote in his autobiography, The Sound of Sleat. “A north wind blowing off the sea promised clarity. I wanted to live in the middle of one of my paintings for a year. I wanted to be in one spot and watch the painting change. I saw clouds menacing my mind’s eye, and the rain shafts or the mist obliterating horizons and forming new forms with the clouds and landmasses blending with the sea. I chose northern Scotland as my cathedral, because for my needs at that moment, it seemed the only church that would do.”
This year, to mark the centenary his birth, Scotland is hosting a collection of exhibitions, talks and events celebrating Schueler’s work. Resipole Studios, on the shores of Loch Sunart in Argyll, is one of 11 galleries that will be showing works by the abstract expressionist. “This is our biggest show,” says artist Andrew Sinclair, the gallery owner. “We’ve had no one of his stature before. It’s a great chance for people to see his work in the west coast setting that inspired it.”
This is just a taster, you can browse the full article on pages 169-172, issue 109.
Words Catherine Coyle