A retrospective exhibition by an astonishing artist who spent much of his life in Ayrshire is being held at Ayr's Maclaurin Gallery.

Alasdair Taylor was born in 1936 near Tain in Ross-shire.

He trained at the Glasgow School of Art from 1955 - 1959, winning the prestigious Governors Prize for his painting.

A fellow student who became a lifelong friend was writer and artist Alasdair Gray, who said of Taylor: "He's a lyrical painter whose colour, like a musician’s sound, makes sombre and radiant feelings without showing the social life causing them."

Irvine Times: A self portrait by AlasdairA self portrait by Alasdair (Image: Alasdair Taylor)

Taylor shied away from fame and fortune, he just wanted to paint.

He married Dane Annelise and after a spell living in Glasgow  they moved with their two young daughters, Anna and Jean to Northbank Cottage, in a field near Portencross in North Ayrshire.

The cottage, a 300 year old dwelling, lacked electricity and other basic amenities, and was far from other habitations.

Here he continued to paint, never caring whether he sold or not.

But he was building a following and featured in a BBC Scope documentary about him, also exhibiting in various galleries in Scotland. Leading newspapers and magazines frequently talked of his talent in glowing terms.

Irvine Times: Alasdair Taylor

Sadly Taylor suffered a major stroke in 2005  which rendered him unable to continue living alone. Annelise having died some 10 years before, his daughters felt it imperative he be moved to more appropriate accommodation. He died in 2007.

Since then Anna and Jean have been the keepers of his amazing archive of paintings. Along with another of Alasdair’s good friend, author James Kelman, they have lobbied continuously for a major retrospective of his work.

And 16 years after his death, the Maclaurin Gallery in Ayr is delighted to be hosting such an exhibition. 

Irvine Times: Alasdair Taylor

Opening at 2pm on Saturday, July 22 in the company of many of Taylor’s friends, including James Kelman, Sorcha Dallas and Malcolm Dixon, the Alasdair Taylor Retrospective will allow visitors to see what an amazing and gifted artist Alasdair Taylor was. Many of the paintings are for sale.

The exhibition will run until September 3.