The final watercolours

During the final years in Glasgow, Macdonald produced a remarkable series of at least seven watercolours.

Their titles are in most cases based on family tradition; while some match their subjects well, others are less clear. In scale, composition and technique the works are closely related and must have been conceived as a group. Others may as yet be untraced.

If there is a unifying theme, it is one of meditation on a woman’s spiritual and physical being. Issues of choice, loss, redemption, motherhood, love, entrapment can all be read into the layered compositions.

The haunting images provide resonant expression to ideas which had preoccupied Macdonald since the 1890s, and which had become part of her own personal experience. The works have few if any parallels in British painting of the early twentieth century.