Saturday, 1 March 2014

Scottish Etcher Alec Fraser

Just now, I'm finishing off work for an upcoming exhibition so there is little stitch to show till all that's completed. Instead, I thought I would put up a post I've had in mind for some time.

A favourite artist of ours is etcher and painter Alec Fraser who trained at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen and worked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was a prolific painter of portraits and landscapes and was head of Grays Art School for 20 years until 1934. His etchings are underrated and unfashionable ... but then that is our gain as they are very affordable.

Paris Plage - Alec Fraser

We have several of his etchings and love the calmness and definition of the monochrome. His work is beautifully executed and full of delicate detail. It was hard to choose my favourite for this post but I think it is the one I'm showing here, though I could have chosen several others. Alec Fraser visited France often and this etching was completed following a visit to the beach near Paris Plage on the north coast.

I feel unfortunately that the photo really doesn't do the piece justice because inevitably it's behind glass. It is much sharper and more contrasting in tone in reality . Although I played with the image in Photoshop, I couldn't quite get rid of the reflections.

Regular followers of this blog will know that my husband and I often go to Aberdeenshire. We bought this piece in a little antique shop and gallery in Dinnet in the Dee Valley - The Auld Alliance. The name is a reference to the strong historical ties between Scotland and France and the fact that Dave Hendry, the owner, has lived for a long time in France during his life.

When we are in Aberdeenshire, we always pay Dave a visit. He runs a wonderfully eclectic shop with etchings and paintings all over the walls and quirky gems lurking on dusty shelves. Every visit is entertaining, even if we buy nothing. He specialises in etchings and always has many by different artists for sale in his shop. He is relaxed, friendly and knowledgeable. I know we will go back when we visit the Dee Valley again later in the spring.

... Incidentally, for British viewers to BBC antiques programmes, this shop has featured several times on Antiques Roadtrip.


  1. Always interesting to find out about new artists, new to me anyway. Thank you for this.

    1. Do you know the work of D Y Cameron, Henry Jackson Simpson and James McBey? I love the work of this whole group - there were many others - all of whom were based in Scotland and were very prolific etchers and painters.

  2. Thank you Charlton, I will look them all up. I love it when links start to prove fruitful! You're a gem.

    1. Very glad to help - I hope you enjoy what you find.

  3. Bonjour,
    do you have any other work of Alec Fraser and is that one,"Paris-Plage", for sale?
    Thank you to let me know.

    1. Bonjour, Bertrand
      I'm afraid Paris Plage by Alec Fraser is most certainly not for sale. It is a favourite of ours. I can only refer you to the gallery I mentioned in this post and where other work by Alec Fraser is often for sale.
      I hope you find what you are looking for.


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