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Derek Robertson BA RSW SSA SAA

Derek Robertson was born in St Andrews, Scotland in 1967 and works from his studio in Fife. He has been a full time, professional artist since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone Art College, Dundee, in 1989 with a BA (hons) in Drawing and Painting. His narrative paintings, assemblages and installations have been exhibited widely to critical acclaim. Inspired by the wildlife and wild places that he explores, they also depict a fusion of personal experience and the portrayal of images from the natural world. His interests have led him to write books and articles (Highland Sketchbook, Harper Collins; A Studio Under The Sky and Living Landscapes; Woodlands Studios and "Artist Sketchbook" series plus numerous press and magazine articles including instructional pieces for "Artists and Illustrators" magazine) and write and present a number of programs for television (Grampian, BBC and STV including the series "Portrait of the Wild" and "Drawn From Wild Places"). He exhibits work in galleries around the world and his paintings, prints and publications are held in private collections in over 50 countries as well as numerous public collections including those of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, The Tate Galleries artist book collection, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum USA, and the Scotland Office in London. Derek has won the Pat Holmes Memorial Prize, The Guthrie Orchar Prize, the RSW Small Painting Prize (2010), RSW Glasgow Art Club Foundation (2011), RSW John Gray Award (2012), short listed for the Royal Over Seas Biennial Award and medal winner at the Wildlife Art Society annual exhibition.Highly Commended and finalist in David Shephard Wildlife Artist of The Year, London (2014 and 2015). Winner, BBC Wildlife Artist of The Year Visions of Nature Award (2014) Finalist in the Golden Turtle Art Award, Moscow (2014 and 2015), Purchase Award Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum USA (2015) and Combined Award National Watercolor Society USA (2015). His book was nominated for the McVities prize and his TV series for an award at the Cannes Film Festival.


Professional societies:

Elected as a professional member of:


The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (including election on their Council, selection and hanging committees).

The Society of Scottish Artists (has served on their selection and hanging committees)

The Aberdeen Art Society (serving on their Council, selection and hanging committees)

The Society of Animal Artists (USA)

Derek is also an Associate member of the National Watercolour Society (USA)


Group Exhibitions: Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh. Society of Scottish Artists, Edinburgh. RSW Edinburgh. Royal Glasgow Institute. Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh. Kingfisher Gallery, Edinburgh. 369 Gallery, Edinburgh. Trinity College, Cambridge. Ancrum Gallery, Scottish Borders. Compass Gallery, Glasgow. Roger Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow. Gallery Heinzel, Aberdeen. The Meffan Institute, Forfar. The Mall Galleries, London. The Riverside Gallery, Stonehaven. Barrack Street Museums, Dundee. Royal Overseas League, London and Edinburgh. Kellie Lodging Gallery, Fife. Dundee Printmakers’ Workshop. Travelling exhibitions in USA, Scandinavia and Japan. Website exhibitions with Dundee University and the Smithsonian Museum, USA. Glasgow Art Club.


Recent one-man shows: The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool 2008. St Fergus Museum, Wick 2008. Stirling Smith Museum, Stirling 2009. Pittenweem Arts Festival, Fife. Fife Contemporary Arts and Crafts 2012. He has previously held solo shows in several venues in the UK including London, Edinburgh and a show in Washington DC in the USA.



Recent projects include-


“Ruairidh agus Ruairidh Eile” collaborative project with poet and writer in residence at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Rody Gorman, Skye 2010 and Stanza poetry festival St Andrews 2012 (Including Festival and Brochure designs)

"Backwater Republic". A collaborative project with writers and artists supported by Dundee Contemporary Arts. 2012.

"Life-Lines". An installation project specially commissioned by the Cupar Arts Festival October 2013. Collaboration with other artists, writers and musicians.

"Memory of Tides". Year of Natural Scotland Artist Residency 2013. A major project as artist in residence for Scottish Natural Heritage at the Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve commissioned to celebrate Year of Natural Scotland.

"Lifelines" 2013-15. A collaborative installation and travelling exhibition centred on Derek's work and incorporating input from other artists, film-makers and musicians, including the nationally acclaimed singer, Sheena Wellington.

"Between Tides". 2013-15. Art-Science collaborative project directed and produced by Derek and involving Scientists from Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews Universities and artistic responses by artists, writers, poets, dancers and film-makers. A travelling exhibition and resulting performance event commissioned for Edinburgh Storytelling Centre for the International Storytelling Centre collaborating with storyteller Lea Taylor and award-winning singer-musician Mairi Campbell.

"A Compass Of Terns" 2016 Collaborative project on the subject of Little Terns with photographer David Woodfall and musicians, poets and composers.

"Migrations" 2017 A major project layering stories of refugees and migrants with the imagery of bird migration. Extensive work produced in the field at refugee centres and migration points across Europe.




Impressed with its interweave of symbolism and naturalism. Exquisite and evocative. Glasgow Herald. Evocative work. The Independent. A beautiful book…very impressive. A coherent body of work…both meticulous and poetic. Alba magazine. Robertson’s Beautiful Book. Finely Drawn studies..splendid. A poetic gesture not to be missed. The Scotsman. Like walking through a personal experience. The Herald. Highly acclaimed. Scots Magazine. Beautiful paintings. Sunday Post Magazine. Superb. Woman and Home. Understanding and enthusiasm for the world around him…but the lengths to which Derek is prepared to go put him in a different league. It is this sense of “being there” that is reproduced in Derek’s paintings so successfully. Scottish Field. Remarkably coherent and assured. Edinburgh List. Beautiful paintings. Sunday Post. Empathy, power and patient observation. Leopard Magazine. Wild places and highland visions. Scottish Sporting Gazette. A lyrical rendering of wild creatures and places.- The Washington Post. Captivating paintings that seem to come alive.- The Times. Outstanding talent...enchanting studies drawn out of the Scottish mists.- The Virginian. Something quite extraordinary.- Artists and Illustrators Magazine. Derek Robertson’s extraordinary sensitivity for his subjects comes across on every page.- Scots Magazine. Lyrical and evocative essays, perceptive observations…a painter of exceptional talent and sensitivity. Scottish Annual. The outstanding quality of Derek’s work is the combination of convincing realism and sympathy with his subject matter. Wildscape Magazine.

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