JP McLaughlin is amongst my favorite artists and has in the past featured heavily amongst my inspirations alongside two others from Scotland. Far from being a traditional Scottish artist, he is a well known and respected global artist with a distinct and easily recognizable style.
The latest of his work titled Secret Garden is a prime example of his more commercially oriented work. The beautifully styled and instantly recognized Red Coat series is an ongoing feature of his work. Secret Garden has the hallmarks of serenity that has become synonymous of these paintings.
A stormy, cloudy sky is broken up with the immediately visible woman in the red coat, in this case, modeled by Debbie Campbell a prolific performer and fundraiser in her own right (as well as the owner of this particular painting). There is a sense of chaos and calm, a contrasting idea that somehow works as we look at her contemplative stance and without seeing her face we know on sight that she is deep in thought, what she is contemplating is open to interpretation.
The casual air of the woman in the Red Coat belies the darkness of the surroundings giving it a softness and a sense that she is relaxed in her contemplation, leaning casually against a wall, she is the epitome of casual elegance and grace in the tumultuous surroundings, a sort of stark reminder that the individual that stands out is the one who speaks softly but carries a big stick, or in this case, wears a brazen shade of red .
The Secret Garden is a nod to the grounds of Hansel Village and gives a touch of the personal to the piece that adds a new depth to the story overall.
The beauty of this piece (aside from the woman in the Red Coat) is the simplicity of the message as per my own interpretation, it speaks to softness in the dark and contemplation in the whirling chaos of the mind. As a piece from the Red Coat series of images, this captures the eye and the mind in a way that makes you want to know her story and as I have seen first hand, opens a discussion on her motives. Cleverly structured JP McLaughlin has offered the art world another conversation starter.
To learn more about JP McLaughlin or to purchase artwork see: