#81 Lilias Buchanan

Henry Martin: Agnes Martin said ‘We think we are very mundane, but we are all capable of fugues’. Respond.

Lilias Buchanan: I have been thinking about these words spoken by Agnes Martin. They are very moving. I am always amazed at how my projects are created from the tiniest beginnings. All it takes is focus and time mixed with the sparks of determination to let whatever creative idea it is inside the mind out into the world. We must nurture our ambitions. This is how the smallest of artistic motifs form into fugues.

Henry Martin: What is your favourite artwork? 

Lilias Buchanan: Although, as many other artists will agree with me, it is hard to choose one all time favourite artwork, one particular work of art that will always stay very close to my heart is a painting by Jan Van Eyck entitled, St.Barbara. Painted on oak panel in 1437, it is intricate and exquisite in its fragility, as if one light breathe could blow the impressions away into the wind. The painting shows St.Barbara in front of a Gothic cathedral under construction. She sits very peacefully looking down into a book.She holds an elegant long quill in her left hand. Only the sky has been painted in washes of blue and ochre, the land left rendered simply in monochrome. There is something very beautiful about the separation of the land and the sky. I am not sure if the painting was intended to be worked on more by Van Eyck or left as it is today. I feel that it is perfect as it is.

Henry Martin: If you could meet one other artist who would it be (living or dead)?

Lilias Buchanan: I am a huge admirer of Vija Celmins and to meet her to discuss her life and work would be incredibly special. I find her paintings captivating, the deepness of the darks and lights so hypnotic. When I look at her charcoal drawings of the Night Sky, everything else seems to fall away, as if I am really there floating somehow inside her world. She is a remarkable artist and a unique inspiring force.

Title: Isabel. Date:December 2017. Format/Materials:Oil on Limewood Panel. Dimensions:23cm h x 21cm w. Picture Credit/ copyright: Lilias Buchanan

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