They say that in the same way that you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a painting exhibition by its title”. Sophie Dalgleish’s latest exhibition,“Romance in the Landscape” is an exquisite offering of “views through small windows”. These are evocative vignettes of those soft warm, sensual experiences that we associate with luxuriating in beautiful countryside and feeling “at one with Nature”.
But my initial reaction to Sophie Dalgleish’s paintings was more than that. I was intrigued, surprised and delighted by their intimacy. These paintings are jewel-like; painted in oil on linen, small in scale; 30cm x 30cm; scale we don’t readily associate with “landscape “. They are intimate views of landscapes of memory ; quietly inviting you “ in “, whether to a soft floating cloudscape or in to a field of burnished grasses at the end of a hot summer’s day, or to a warm golden afternoon with a little stream and even to a cool pearly beach complete with a little row boat. For the most part the colours are suffused which together with the small scale seems to enhance their accessibility. These are reflections of sweet memory; a very personal world of quietude, reverie , nostalgia. But there is little of saccharine sentimentality here.
I found myself being drawn in to these little worlds of exquisite memory of quiet serenity , where Nature is a balm and one can “just be” : Romance indeed.