Eye of the Storm
This compelling portrait of the late, great Scottish landscape painter James Morrison looks set to introduce his work to a wider audience.
For much of his life, Morrison worked out of a studio near Montrose, just south of Aberdeen, where the North Sea crashes violently onto the coastline. The breathtaking beauty of that world, with its swirling storm clouds pierced by sunlight and sparse, windswept vegetation, populated Morrison’s paintings, which are beloved by critics and admirers, including the Royal Family. But at 85, when director Anthony Baxter began filming him, Morrison was losing his sight. The resulting documentary is a record of him at work, detailing the meticulousness with which he approached each canvass and his passion for the landscape around him.
Eye of the Storm is a marked change in gear for Baxter, who is best known for You’ve Been Trumped (2011) and its 2016 follow-up, which documented the former US President’s campaign to build a golf course in Scotland, the opposition he faced and the lies he spun. But the energy Baxter channelled into his campaign against Trump here transforms into a passion for a man whose body of work saw him acclaimed as one of Britain’s finest landscape painters. What emerges is a generous portrait of a man of great sensitivity and an eye for the details that make his landscapes so thrilling to behold.