Original paintings by Scottish artist John Halliday
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Art by John Halliday, Scottish painter
 

The Artist

John Halliday was born in Kirkcudbright, July 14th 1933. His early schooling was at the Johnston School and Kirkcudbright Academy, 1938-1949. His determination to be a painter increased under the inspiring tutelage of Jean Menzies. When the painter Cecile Walton came to Kirkcudbright in 1947 a close friendship grew between the fourteen year old schoolboy and this distinguished artist.

At his father's behest he left school to begin an apprenticeship with the Galloway News. The high calibre of his briefly sketched cartoons persuaded the Editor Tom Phin and the proprietor John Maxwell to encourage the youngster to return to school to complete his secondary education.

John Halliday
   
Both Jean Menzies and Cecile Walton encouraged Halliday to go to the Glasgow School of Art and he began his studies there in 1949.

Halliday has fond memories of his time at the art school:
"My four years at the Glasgow School of Art were the best years for me. Coming from the background of Kirkcudbright and the celebrated colony of artists there I was constantly aware of the great tradition of this Art School. The artists whom I knew at home - E A Taylor, Jessie M King, Cecile Walton, Dorothy Rey - all had been part of the GSA story.

Ayrshire Steading, Moonlight

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"I was lucky to be there when the painting school was very strong drawing was all important. I was doubly fortunate to be there when teachers of the calibre of William and Mary Armour, John Millar and Geoffrey Squire were on the staff."

In his final year at the Art School Halliday won two Royal Scottish Academy Awards: the Chalmers Bursary in the Royal Scottish Academy Open Competition and the RSA award for an outstanding Diploma Show enabling his first trips to Europe to paint in Italy and France.

John Halliday paintings

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Knight Piece After leaving GSA and determined not to become an art teacher, Halliday worked at a number of jobs which would allow him to continue his involvement with the Fine Arts. From his Kirkcudbright days he had hoped someday to design for the theatre. A meeting with the Glasgow architect Jack Notman and other patrons produced more than seventy murals. The variety of subjects involved allowed many opportunities for him to indulge his love of architecture and the theatre.

"In my early twenties I embarked on a life long love of Calabria and Sicily. An Irish writer wrote 'the places in the world where you feel immediately at home are where the light is kind to your eyes'. The light in Galloway, Siracusa in Eastern Sicily, and Cape Cod in the U.S.A is kind to my eyes."

   
 

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