Nine prints from John Byrne, Peter Howson and others will raise funds to help students realise their potential

Date posted

27 February 2019


Edinburgh Napier University’s widening access scholarship fund is set to be boosted by the sale of work by some of Scotland’s most prominent and well-known artists.

The University has been donated a range of signed art prints that are now available for individuals to buy with all funds raised from the sales being donated to Edinburgh Napier’s widening access scholarships.

These scholarships provide vital financial support to students at Edinburgh Napier and helps ensure that there are no financial barriers to students reaching their full potential.

Artists who have donated pieces of work to the campaign are as follows: Peter Howson, John Byrne, Barbara Rae, William Baillie, Ian McKenzie Smith, Stuart Duffin, John Houston, Frank Pottinger and Fiona Watson.

Craig Shearer, development executive at Edinburgh Napier, said: “We are hugely indebted to these fantastic artists for donating pieces of work to the University. We have around 20 prints of each for sale with all funds going towards Edinburgh Napier’s widening access scholarships.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for individuals to support our students get the most out of their university experience alongside owning an impressive piece of artwork at the same time.”

Those interested in viewing or purchasing a piece are asked to contact Craig Shearer at

The artwork...

William BAILLIE (1923 – 2011)

“Arena”; 44cm x 55.5cm; £175William Baillie's Arena

William Baillie lived in Edinburgh where he trained and later taught at Edinburgh College of Art until his retiral in 1988.  Inspiration from travel to India, Nepal and Sikkim informed much of his work in both oil and watercolour.  He held the posts of president of both RSW and RSA.  Elected Hon. RA in 1991.


“J'accuse”; 44cm x 55.5cm; £400John Byrne's J'accuse

John Byrne was born in Paisley in 1940 and brought up in Ferguslie Park housing scheme. A graduate of Glasgow School of Art, the young Byrne tricked his way out of a monotonous job in a local carpet factory by posing as 'Patrick', a self-taught painter of faux-naif images. Although quick to confess to the ruse, as 'Patrick', John Byrne found that his painting career took off and his work reached a wide audience in the form of record covers for the Beatles, Gerry Rafferty and Billy Connolly. Paisley's Renaissance Man has written, designed and directed stage and screen productions, including "The Slab Boys" and "Tutti Frutti", but he is primarily a visual artist.


“Street of Prophets”; 44cm x 55.5cm; £175Stuart Duffin's Street of Prophets

Born in 1959.  Studied at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, Scotland 1978 – 1982, graduating in fine art printmaking. Has been a member of staff at the Glasgow Print Studio since 1984 and has been Studio Manager from 1989 - 2002. Currently working primarily in etching and mezzotint as the Studio Etcher.  He is Fellow of the RE (Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers), an Academician of the RSA (Royal Scottish Academy), a professional member of the SSA (Society of Scottish Artists) and a member of the IMS (International Mezzotint Society)

John HOUSTON (1930 – 2008) 

“Bass Rock, Evening Storm”; 44cm x 55.5cm; £175John Houston's Bass Rock, Evening Storm

John Houston was born in Buckhaven, Fife, and studied at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) from 1948 to 1954. He taught at ECA on his return from travelling in Italy. In 1957 he helped start the 57 Gallery, Edinburgh, and exhibited there in his first solo show in 1958. He travelled widely and exhibited throughout the world.  Houston worked in the best tradition of Scottish Expressionism. He is known for his intense atmospheric landscapes exploring the dramatic effects of weather and light. His remarkable paintings of the Bass Rock in the River Forth have become a theme for his art, but he is also recognised for his exciting studies of flowers.


55.5cm x 44cm; £175Frank Pottinger

Edinburgh-born Frank Pottinger RSA began his working life as a fitter/engineer. Following National Service he attended Edinburgh College of Art and later went into teaching. Frank trained as a sculptor and his work was recognised in 1979 when he was elected ARSA. Living in the country at the time, he made big sculptures and enjoyed doing so. Since 1985, when he left his post as lecturer in Aberdeen, he pursued his career as an artist full-time in Leith. The facilities to work big have gone, together with the desire to do so. Instead his work has altered course, taking in ceramics and, for the last 10 years, printmaking. It is now prints which take up most of his time, though he still makes small sculptures for bronze-casting.

Barbara RAE

“Fast Castle”; 44cm x 55.5cm; £175Barbara Rae's Fast Castle

Born in 1943 studied at Edinburgh College of Art where she was awarded a travel scholarship travelling to France and Spain in 1966. She has taught painting, drawing and printmaking at Aberdeen and GSA. Exhibiting in major solo and group shows nationally and internationally she won tapestry commissions for Royal Scottish Museum and The Festival Theatre Edinburgh. Her work is in many private and public collections worldwide. Awards include Major Scottish Arts Council Award, Guthrie Medal, RSA Sir William Gillies Award RSA, Calouste Gulbenkian Printmaking Award and Hunting Group Prize winner. Past president of the SSA she is also a member of the RSA, RGI RSW, RA, the Royal Fine Art Commission and was a member of the Board of the British School at Rome in 1998. In 1999 she was awarded a CBE and received an Honorary Doctorate from Edinburgh Napier University.

Ian McKenzie SMITH

44cm x 55.5cm; £175Ian McKenzie Smith

Trained at Gray's School of Art and Design. He later went on to become Director of the Art Gallery in Aberdeen from 1968 to 1989. He became Aberdeen's City Arts and Recreation Officer from 1989 to 1996.  

In 1992 he was awarded the OBE for his services to Art. From 1988 to 1998 he was President of the Royal Society of Watercolours and in 1991 up until 1998 he became Secretary of the Royal Scottish Academy. He is currently President of the Royal Scottish Academy.  He has work in several public collections including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Aberdeen and Glasgow.


“Natural Progression”; 44cm x 55.5cm; £175Fiona Watson's Natural Progression

The main visual influence on her work came from studying biology. Sources of inspiration include travel, music, bookshops, ephemera, TV and films, the inconspicuous, things misread, out of focus, discarded, Photoshop, wild goose chases, the space between dreams and waking, snippets of conversation, family and friends.   Studied printmaking at the Glasgow Print Studio including etching, screen-printing, lithography and relief printing. The experience of working with artists here and with visiting artists from around the world was invaluable.


“Angus”; 55.5cm x 44cm; £400Peter Howson's Angus

Howson has been committed to art since four years after his birth in Isleworth, West London. Very single-minded, he would lock himself away in a small room at the top of the house and make pictures, 'really happy in my own little world'. As he grew older, Howson discovered Picasso and Cubism, got interested in Salvador Dali and Surrealism, started to study Old Masters like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. 'I used to get a real buzz from just looking at paintings'. That buzz has never stopped. 'My mind is very visual', says Howson. 'I mean, I imagine things. When I'm actually talking to someone I'm thinking about something. My brain builds another picture'. There's an obvious connection between this powerful visual faculty and Howson's later custom of working from the imagination rather than from life.