Take a page out of Jim’s book and help stage his exhibition

The Jim Page portrait by Andrew Binnie painted in 1998
The Jim Page portrait by Andrew Binnie painted in 1998

A request from the local community to show a Jim Page portrait permanently at Coldstream Museum has led to an entire exhibition dedicated to the artist being staged this summer.

Organised by Live Borders Museums and Galleries, the event is due to run from the end of July to October 31.

And organisers are calling on anyone who has information about Jim Page, or anyone who owns any of his work, to share their knowledge or lend their artwork to the exhibition.

Jim was a local historian and artist who depicted both contemporary and historic scenes in his work, which is still much-loved.

A portrait of Jim Page, by Andrew Binnie, will take pride of place in the exhibition. Binnie is also a Scottish Borders artist who has exhibited widely, both locally and throughout Scotland.

Most of his work is in oils and, like Page, his subject-matter is predominantly landscape.

Both artists took inspiration from the ever-changing face of the gently beautiful Borders scenery. 

Andrew said: “Jim Page was one of those exceptional artists who was entirely self-taught, apart from some evening classes, and yet whose work was able to stand comparison with that of any professional painter.

“He was blessed with a natural talent which combined accuracy of drawing along with spontaneity of brushwork which is so essential in watercolour painting.

“His paintings of Coldstream and its surrounding landscape are notable for their freedom of handling.

“They were never overworked; he had the all-important knack of knowing when to stop.

“Jim was one of nature’s gentlemen and it was typical of him that he gave so freely of his time to encourage aspiring amateurs and beginners, many of whom benefited greatly from the regular painting sessions which he organised.

“It is good news to learn that this exhibition will bring together a body of Jim’s work created over a number of years. It will be a fitting tribute to a fine artist.”

Jim painted landscapes and towns in the Borders for more than 50 years, earning great respect from his peers during that time – and since.

Michael Hickman, an artist and friend of Jim’s, said: “He was never without his sketchbook whether it was in Italy during World War Two or sitting in his car at Smailholm Tower.

“His favoured medium was pen and ink overlaid with broad vibrant washes of pure watercolour, leaving the white paper showing as a highlight.

“He was always learning, whether at an exhibition of the French Impressionists or the Scottish Colourists.

“And his enthusiasm when talking about art was typical of the man – he simply loved to paint.

“I would encourage everyone to go along and see some of the legacy left behind by this master watercolour painter.”

Ewan Jackson, Live Borders chief executive, said: “It is anticipated there will be a lot of local interest in the forthcoming retrospective as it covers both genres of history and art.

“The Live Borders Museums and Galleries team has worked really hard to bring this exhibition together and, with the help of members of the local community, it looks like being one of the highlights of the summer.”

Anyone who can provide more information on Jim or who would be willing to loan any of his work to the exhibition should contact Andrew Tulloch by email atulloch@liveborders1.org.uk or call 01361 884114.