John Lowrie Morrison OBE was born in 1948 in Maryhill, Glasgow, but now lives here in Argyll, local to The Square Peg. Known as Jolomo, he is one of Scotland’s best loved contemporary artists and has been painting Argyll and the Hebrides for over 50 years. His work is mainly expressionist oil paintings of our wonderful Scottish landscapes, featuring the lighthouses, crofts, coastlines and boats of the Scottish west coast, often also capturing the people and the light.
Interested in art at an early age, John says he always knew he wanted to paint. He attended Glasgow School of Art from 1967 to 1971 studying drawing and painting but also printmaking. During his time as a student John travelled and developed his expressionist style, settling on landscape painting by the time he graduated. He carried out a post graduate study year 1971-1972, with his work bought by many of his tutors. Almost immediately following his graduation John moved on to teaching art.
He taught art for more than twenty years here at Lochgilphead High School, and many locals, including some members of staff here at The Square Peg are proud to have been in his classes. At the same time, he also taught in 12 Mid Argyll primary schools. Towards the end of his teaching career he was appointed as art adviser for Strathclyde, and only became a full-time artist in 1996. He produces his work at an amazing rate, up to three or four paintings a day. He completes the majority of his paintings in his studio, based on sketches and photographs that he captures whist out and about.
John contributes amazing amounts to charity, pledging a percentage of every painting he sells to support charities and organisations such as Carer’s Trust, Teenage Cancer Trust, Youth Business Scotland and The Dochas Fund. He also founded the Jolomo Awards in 2007, a prestigious annual award for Scottish Landscape Painting. It is the largest arts award in Scotland and the UK's largest privately funded arts award with a prize currently of £25,000 for the winner, and £35,000 for all the prizes. John was awarded an OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to art and charity in Scotland.
Every year Jolomo Calendars in their various formats, are some of our most popular products in the shop and online. Especially in December, we think they must be very popular Christmas presents! We really love that we’re able to send out so many of his calendars all over the country and feel really proud that we can do our bit to help raise money for the charities that he supports. With it now being January, most of the Calendars for 2020 have already been snapped up, but you might still find a few in our Calendars and Diaries collection if you’re lucky.
We do also have a brilliant selection of other Jolomo products available both online and in our gift shop. Including mugs from Dunoon ceramics, like this fine bone china large Puffer Mug. A perfect gift for a fan of his work either on its own or as part of a set. There are three designs available in this size, the puffer, the lighthouse and the croft.
We also have coasters and placemats in various sets or individually if you’d like to put together a range of your own favourites. We love the West Coast of Scotland Collection as it features scenes in Skye, Iona, nearby Oban and of course Lochgilphead. The Autumn Gloaming, Lochgilphead image is a favourite of ours as our lovely little shop right in the middle of it! It’s offered as a set of four coasters or a set of four placemats.
Another very popular range of products are the boxed sets of notelets, which are fantastic value. Each wallet contains 6 cards, 3 each of two designs and is supplied with vividly coloured co-ordinating envelopes. The Scottish Croftscape Notecard pack includes the designs: “Wee Croft at Ben More Isle of Mull” and “Beached Boats at Haun Isle of Eriskay” and would make a lovely gift for someone who enjoys his work or just a little treat for yourself.
There are lots more pieces that would make lovely gifts for someone who loves Scottish landscape images in our Jolomo Collection at The Square Peg Online and even more to see in the shop if you fancy popping in for a look!