Barbara Robertson

Barbara Robertson

Printmaker, illustrator and teacher Barbara Robertson was born in Broughty Ferry, Angus, 16th August 1945.

She attended Blairgowrie High School, then studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, 1965–71, her teachers included Józef Sekalski . She was awarded a Major Scottish Education Department Travelling Scholarship. Robertson went on to teach printmaking at Duncan of Jordanstone, then worked full-time mainly on lino-cuts.

An early work: ‘St Andrews’ – displayed in Duncan of Jordanstone College Collection.

Robertson was a superb printmaker, sensitive, observant, full of humour and wonderfully skilled, creating technically sophisticated, complex lino-cuts. She had a marvellous visual imagination and a mischievous wit, beautifully expressed in her exceptional prints. Cats, hens, sheep and other animals make regular appearances in her work; she also portrayed the landscape of the Angus countryside.

Lino-cuts: ‘Barn Dance’ ‘Flowers & Poultry’ ‘The Gate’. ‘Sea Salt’.

Her domestically orientated lino-cuts – cats, sheep, geese, rabbits, even an occasional human being, were all more or less integral parts of the country cottage in Douglastown near Forfar where she lived and did her printing on her huge cast iron printing press. Superbly drawn and detailed linocuts reflected her passion for the surrounding Angus landscape and the natural world she loved. She also drew inspiration from her numerous travels to Italy, Egypt and Africa. Almost invariably her prints have that additional, and all too scarce quality in most other work, a good helping of her own particular brand of humour.

The lino-cut technique involves the cutting away of the original design drawn on the lino and inking the relief block that is left before bringing together with the paper in a huge hand operated press. This whole process has to be repeated for every colour, the re-cutting of the lino design preventing the over printing of previous colours. Thus the building of the design is achieved the very darkest colour being applied last and the relief of which is the only remaining part visible on the now very much depleted surface of the original lino sheet.

Three of the seven ‘Witches’ linocuts.

Robertson’s Witch Series of seven lino-cut prints are on display in Forfar Library and feature in the Forfar Witches permanent exhibition at the Meffan Gallery, Forfar. In the Witch Series, her use of linocut and minimal colour echoes the wood cut prints of the time and those illustrating Daemonologie. The seven prints feature the Forfar Witches trials in the 17th century. Each print was printed in an edition of 150.

Robertson was also a gifted book illustrator, her works include :-

Robertson’s work has been exhibited in France and Germany and in the Printmakers Workshop (Edinburgh), and the Compass Gallery (Glasgow). Her Prints have been exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy since 1973.

Robertson died peacefully, at her home, in Douglastown, near Forfar, on Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

Friends Carrie and Simon give this BR pride of place in their kitchen.

Barbara Robertson: Work For Sale.

SOLD ‘Summer Visitors’. 4/10 17.75 x 8 ins. £60. a superb piece of art !

Bus Stop, Tunisia. 4/10 signed. SOLD Image 6.5 x 5 ins. In Mount. £35. Walking to Mesopotamia Two available – 6/16 and 16/16 unsigned. 16.5 x 6 ins. £45 each/unsigned one £35. Seagull 29/30 signed. 16 x 8 ins. £45.

Large works: Summering 8/18 signed. SOLD 15 x 8.25 ins. £50, Over the Moon, signed, two available. 2/18, 3/18. 24 x 13 ins. £50,

Printed on a rag paper. FRAMED. Sheep signed. Image 6.5 x 8.5. £45. Rosie’s’ Sheep signed. 17.5 x 11.5 ins. £35.

Lino-cuts not signed. The first one is numbered 1/16 and IS SOLD. Second one African Lady SOLD. Third pig one SOLD. Sizes range from 8.5 ins x 6 ins to the final lino-cut which is a massive 26 x 20 ins. Hens in boat also SOLD. Prices range from £25 to £50. If interested please contact for more information re each print. Graham Bennison

Two large lino-cuts.

Graham Bennison.

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