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George Birrell. Artist and painter of the Scottish coast and villages.

August 19, 2011

George Birrell trained at the Glasgow School of Art. He taught art and design in Scottish schools

between 1970-80, starting painting full time in 1980. He lectured in art, design and photography from

1985 until 1998. Since then George has taken part in regular joint and group art exhibitions at many

Scottish galleries particularly: Central Art Galleries including Edinburgh Art Galleries, Glasgow Art

Galleries, and Fife Art Galleries. He has also exhibited his art abroad.

George produces beautiful Architectural paintings and Landscape paintings featuring familiar Scottish

images and scenes. The East Coast Scottish towns and fishing villages of Fife hold a special fascination

to him. I’m immediately struck by the bold use of strong colour and stylized compositions.He describes

this as an emotional response to memories and atmosphere of these special places so often depicted in

paintings shown in a number of Lothian art galleries . Vigorous handling of colour, a bold palette and

strong design are all themes in his work. Even his earlier paintings follow these ideas.

Occasionally you can also come across pieces that show a coastal scene where the Haar or mist takes

over the landscape and tones and hues of the same colour are all you can make out.

Typically Georges’ paintings and prints are clear and well constructed compositions. Using bold and

effective use of colour to create an emotional impact. The contrasting colours create areas of light and

shade, drawing viewers typically into the image of a small Scottish village or building. 

As well as a vibrancy of colour, I feel that there is a great sense of peace and serenity in his work.

As a regular visitor to Edinburgh, I’ve been fortunate to regularly see Georges’ beautiful work up close

and believe me it’s well worth the wait !

8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2012 8:05 pm


    thank you for your kind comments on my work, much appreciated!
    best wishes,

    George Birrell

    • February 25, 2012 3:49 pm

      Thanks for the personal comment George, Lovely work and great too see such rich colour use.

  2. Angus Gunn McAulay permalink
    March 16, 2012 11:33 pm

    Hi George

    I was given one of your painting from the Glasgow School of Art of the Gareloch for a wedding present 1971. Much admired

    Angus Gunn McAulay

    • March 17, 2012 10:40 am

      Hi Angus

      Sadly I’m not George, I’m just the guy who writes about him lol but you’re a lucky man to have one of his beautiful works. Thanks for the comment

  3. David Miller permalink
    January 26, 2013 3:39 pm

    Would you have been the same Mr Birrell who taught at Waverley Sec in Drumchapel circa 79?

    • January 26, 2013 4:23 pm

      Hi David, I’m not Mister Birrell, I’m just the author of this blog. But you can ask George yourself by sending your question to him here Thank you

  4. Jo Rae permalink
    June 25, 2013 7:01 am

    Hi. This is a message for George. I was a student of his in 1984/6ish and would love to get in touch with him. Is this possible?
    Many thanks

    • June 25, 2013 10:19 am

      Hi Jo, thanks for your message, the only email address I have for george is this you can try him on that. Good luck and do tell George where you found him. Thanks Craig

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