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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

James McNaught

James McNaught



Born in Glasgow in 1948, James is the only son of parents who worked as carpet designers at Templeton’s Carpet Factory in Glasgow. His earliest memory of a painting is by Picasso of a lady whom he firmly believed to be his mother. James enjoyed drawing and painting at school but not much else and in 1966, without any formal qualifications, he was accepted unconditionally at Glasgow School of Art, where he stayed until 1970, and where, he says he would have been happy to stay for the rest of his life.

James paints in gouache with a delicate touch and a faultless technique. His paintings have an obsessive quality, they are witty and enigmatic and depict an erotic, fetishistic intensely private world. He admires many artists, in particular George Grosz, Hans Bellmer, Chaim Soutine and Paul Delvaux.

McNaught’s women are statuesque and he often portrays them in their boudoirs, surrounded by intimate paraphernalia, their exquisitely tiny feet imprisoned in unfeasibly high heeled shoes.

James works full time as art teacher in a Catholic boys school, which he finds difficult as it does not allow him enough time to paint. He began exhibiting with Portal Gallery in 1978. He has also exhibited in Amsterdam and in Munich. His work is in significant private collections in Australia, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.A and he has twenty paintings in a collection in Costa Rica.

James McNaught’s work has also been widely used on book covers and as illustrations for various publications. James has had a number solo shows with Portal Gallery and exhibits with them regularly in group shows and at art fairs.











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