Jean Martin RSW

I was born in Glasgow, Scotland and studied Drawing and Painting at Glasgow School of Art from 1964 -68.

While there I won a scholarship to Hospitalfield School of Art and a number of awards including the final year drawing prize.

I then undertook postgraduate teacher training at Aberdeen, gaining distinctions in teaching practice and academic studies and taught in secondary schools for a number of years.

While bringing up my children (both artists now!) I taught part-time in Forgan Art Centre in Newport on Tay, and tried to keep my work ticking over. No mean feat!

As my children grew older I was able to devote more time to painting. I spent many years working in pure watercolour, and still love the delicacy and vibrancy of that medium.

I was invited to write a book, ‘Structure and Expression for Flowers in Watercolour’ which was published in 2003.

I then started to explore mixed media, and now, within my paintings, I play the brilliancy and delicacy of watercolour against the surface texture of acrylic and collage.

Since 1995 I have taught Fine Art, part-time, in Dundee College and spend the rest of my time painting.

My painting is a reaction to observation, whether it is within still life or landscape.

I work with the intention of creating a response to my experience. I am fascinated by the way light affects the surface on which it plays. Whether it is on a delicate flower head or the stone of a church pillar, the fleeting impermanence and the vibrant or subtle illumination is a constant source of delight to me.

I paint using watercolour and mixed media and collage, often layering and working back into the image until I arrive at the surface and structure I am after.

Freedom and form are the two dynamics that inform my work. I love the freedom and translucence of watercolour and the rich textural possibilities of mixed media.

I often use the chaos of plant form and the decorative surface of textiles within my painting.

I usually work from life, but when dealing with landscape, I work from drawings and recorded images.

The pictorial content of my paintings may have symbolic, historical or geographical associations and may or may not be set in a spatial context.

Born Glasgow

1964 - 1968 Glasgow School of Art.
1967 Hospitalfield, Scholarship.
1969 Aberdeen College of Education

Solo Exhibitions

1986 - Gallery Quin. St. Andrews.
1988 - Flying Colours Gallery, Edinburgh.
1991 - Flying Colours Gallery, Edinburgh.
1994 - Flying Colours Gallery, Edinburgh
1997 - Gatehouse Gallery, Glasgow
2001 - Gatehouse Gallery, Glasgow
2002 - Queens Gallery, Dundee
2005 - Flying Colours Gallery, London
2005 - Queens Gallery, Dundee
2007 - Frames Gallery, Perth
2009 - Flying Colours Gallery London
2012 - Richard Hagen Fine Art, Broadway
2015 - Flying Colours Gallery  London
2018 - Richard Hagen Fine Art Broadway

Selected Group Exhibitions

Gatehouse Gallery Glasgow

Flying Colours Gallery. Edinburgh & London

Tolquhon Gallery, Aberdeen

Allessandro Gallery, Dundee

Gallery Q, Dundee

Richard Hagan Fine Art.  Broadway

Fabriano Convention of Watercolour Painters. Fabriano, Italy

Australian Watercolour Institute

RSW Annual Exhibition


John and Mabel Craig Bequest

Hutcheson Drawing Prize

Harry Vaughn Award

International Artist Award

Anne Redpath Award   Visual Arts Scotland

Morton Fraser Award  Visual Arts Scotland

John Gray Award  RSW

Sir William Gillies Award RSW

2003 - Elected Professional member, Royal Society of Watercolour Painters

2007 - Elected Honorary Treasure , Royal  Society of Watercolour Painters


‘Structure and Expression for Flowers In Watercolour’. ISBN 1—929834-22-5
Published 2003

Contributer  Secrets from the Contemporary Watercolour Masters. Volume 4
Published in China 2016 ISBN 978-7-5575-3182-9

Works in public private and corporate collections in the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Canada and the USA.


1975 - 1995 Part-time Tutor, Adult Art Education. Forgan Art Centre

1995 - Part Time Lecturer in Fine Art Dundee College

2002, 2011 Lecturer Leith School of Art, Summer School

1996 - 2011 Tutor, Adult Drawing and Painting Courses, Paris, Barcelona,  Venice & Florence