Alexander Goudie

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Much sought after as a portraitist, Alexander Goudie painted, among many others; the Queen for the Caledonian Club, the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton and their children, the mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington and the comedian Billy Connolly.

Goudie was born in Paisley in 1933 and studied painting, drawing and sculpture at the Glasgow School of Art. Three years after leaving, he made an extensive painting tour of France from Normandy to Provence.

On selling a painting to the Glasgow Art Gallery on his return, he was introduced to a Breton girl, Marie-Renée Dorval, who was to become his wife. He first visited her family in Brittany in 1959, and they married in 1962.

This was a chance acquaintance with a sea-bound Celtic culture, set in a land swept by the harsh elements of the Atlantic Ocean, which mirrored his beloved homeland. The Brittany light that had so inspired Paul Gauguin and the Nabis emerged in his paintings of the place that he visited each year for three decades. The first major exhibition of his Brittany paintings was at the Scottish Gallery in 1966, and subsequent one-man shows in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London led to his being commissioned by Brittany Ferries in 1987 to decorate the whole of their new flagship Bretagne.

In 1996, the centenary of the poet Robert Burns’ death, Goudie unveiled a sequence of paintings depicting the events of Tam O’Shanter, a poem that had captivated him since childhood. The series was shown at the Edinburgh Festival in 1996. He subsequently showed 54 paintings in a second Tam O’Shanter exhibition in Glasgow, before the series was purchased by benefactors for Alloway in South Ayrshire, site of the haunted kirk in the poem. It is now on display in the Goudie Collection at Rozelle House in Alloway.

In 1970 Goudie was elected a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. He always made his living from selling his paintings, drawings and sculpture and never resorted to any secondary occupation.

Alexander Goudie, artist, was born on November 11, 1933. He died of cancer on March 9, 2004, aged 70, leaving his wife Marie-Renée and their three children.

Info taken from Times Online.