Wave Study II (Oil on board, 1958)
Born in Sussex in 1921, Joan Eardley studied at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1938–9), and then at the Glasgow School of Art (1940–43). She was deeply affected by the life and atmosphere of the slums of the city of Glasgow. Her paintings of street life, young children and the elderly are now famous, blending realism and compassion but without sentimentality.
In 1951 she discovered the small fishing village of Catterline on the East coast of Scotland. This work is an example from this period when she usually worked en plein air, painting coastal landscapes – fierce and bold evocations of the wind and the weather.
She was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1955 and a full Academician in 1963. This artwork was part of the Scottish Arts Council bequest.