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JD Innes Arenig North Wales

A while back I happened across the above image and thought it gorgeous. I hadn’t heard of the painter James Dickson Innes ever before so I did a Google search and liked what I saw and so began to track down the only book there is on him. I’ve since realised that what I saw and liked was all there was to see and like.

JD Innes Palm Trees at Collioure

I’ve just finished reading it and have mixed thoughts – he died young at 27 from tuberculosis and so he never really hit his stride as a painter. The pieces I like show that he was beginning to be onto something; inspired by French Impressionism and The Fauves he brought unusual colour to the Welsh and French landscape pieces he painted.

JD Innes Storm Over Arenig

His watercolours also describe the landscape with semi-abstract dots and dashes which is a style I’m drawn to.

JD Innes Promontories & Coast at Cerbere

What I haven’t shown you here are the terrible (sorry to say it but it was said to him at the time) portraits and mediocre pieces. I’m guessing if he’d lived he’d have continued to hone his skill and produce more pieces of worth and standing but as he didn’t, I felt this book included them to his detriment. I have piles of sub-standard stuff that will one enjoy a trip to the recycling – I wouldn’t ever show them publicly. Other than his association with some high profile names (Augustus John, Eric Gill, Walter Sickert) I’m left not entirely sure why he warrants a whole book?

JD Innes Tour Madeloc

I do take away his delicious use of colour and representation of light but stick to Googling him – you can borrow my book!

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