Adam Bruce Thomson: Untroubled Certainty
A long life, good health, and a strict work ethic are necessary ingredients for a productive life. Add to the recipe a considerable talent and you have a description of Adam Bruce Thomson. He died in 1976 and The Scottish Gallery continued a productive relationship with his daughters, Margaret and Mary leading to his Centenary show in 1985 and a major reappraisal retrospective in 2013. Now the Thomson girls have passed also but a substantial body of work is still intact allowing us to focus on different aspects and periods of the artist’s output and here we look again at his watercolour. Like his friend William Gillies he had his favoured locations, and the Scottish Borders and West Highlands are revisited as well as forays to the outer isles, Berwickshire coast and of course the hills of his home city, Edinburgh. His early pastel, gouache and tempera gave way to watercolour as his dominant medium after the War and his distinctive, free technique, vigorous descriptive drawing and strong local colour have become an essential contribution to The Edinburgh School.