“Colour preoccupies me inordinately. It is the most mysterious element of painting”- Donald Hamilton Fraser
Donald Hamilton Fraser’s predominant subject matter is landscape, with his approach and techniques varying as widely as the climates and atmospheres he captures. His affinity with Scotland’s heritage and spirit are as integral to his works as his love for French painting; influences that are greatly reflected in both Fraser’s style and execution. The artist often places gentle washes of colour next to hard edge and bright impasto, creating landscapes that remain close to their origins but are charmingly translated into abstract, almost dream-like fields of colour. Fraser’s approach to painting meant his works were considered over time, ensuring a piece is produced in spirit of the place rather than in accordance with its geographical detail. After spending such a significant amount of time along the Scottish coastline, the natural beauty of the landscape combined with the overwhelming power of the turbulent Atlantic continued to give the artist great inspiration for depicting drama and grandeur in his artworks.
Contrasting in style and highlighting Fraser’s diversity are his graceful chalk and wash drawings of dancers. Fraser maintained a lifelong fascination for classical ballet, spending hours observing the daily rehearsals of the English National Ballet, attending productions of both domestic and international ballet companies, as well as writing as a critic in magazines on the subject. The sensitivity of his drawings modestly reveals his intimate knowledge of dance and fascination for the discipline involved in such an artform, enabling him to successfully capture an individual spirit, emotion, and moment in the life of a dancer.