You can edit almost every page by Creating an account. Otherwise, see the FAQ.

Ann Oram

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Ann Oram (Scottish painter) RSW (born 1956) is a Scottish painter who came to prominence when she won the May Marshall Brown Award to critical acclaim at the 1991 Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour Annual Exhibition.


Ann Oram was born in London in May 1956. Her family was well known in the hotel and licensed trade in the Highlands. She was raised in Grantown-on-Spey where she was mainly educated. Her final two years of school were at Inverness Royal Academy after which she went to Edinburgh College of Art from 1976 to 1982.

In September 1994 she married David Cemery. They have a son, Andrew.

Whilst at the Edinburgh College of Art, Oram won the Carnegie Travelling Scholarship at the Royal Scottish Academy's Student Show in 1980, the Andrew Grant Travelling Scholarship to New York and the Edinburgh College of Art's Largo Award both in 1981 and then the Andrew Grant Major Award, all of which enabled her to travel in France and Italy in 1981 and 1982.

After graduation, from 1983 until 1985, Oram taught part-time at Edinburgh College of Art whilst developing her career as a professional artist. Her progress was rewarded with her election to membership of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour in 1986.

She tutored privately in the following two years before moving to live and paint in Spain in 1987 and 1988. As she told the Highland News1 ten years later, she had friends who lived in the south of Spain at Algeciras who had inherited a large house. Renting a few rooms she lived there for a year touring the whole Iberian peninsula in a beaten-up old VW.

“It was a big turnaround for me because of the colours. It's just a totally different imagery. I started painting horses and palm trees. It's just so exotic. We still keep going back there.”[1]

Oram returned from the continent in 1987 and that year was invited to visit the Art Department and lecture at the then Newcastle Polytechnic. She also revived her private tuition and in 1990 notably conducted painting courses on Mull and in Spain. Oram's next step was to retrace her artistic roots in Edinburgh College of Art as a part-time lecturer in 1991 where she remained in post until 1996.

By 1997 her paintings were increasingly sought by collectors and were to be found in public collections and in corporate settings. The demands of one person shows and annual exhibitions now consumed her time. She had an uninterrupted series of the former from 1995 to 2008 and between from 1996 to 2010 she exhibited annually with Duncan R Miller Fine Arts including the London Art Fair, the 20/21st International Art Fair and the Affordable Art Fair.

In 1999 Oram designed two tapestries for the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Another move to Europe in 2006, this time to Vienna, saw Oram spend over a year painting in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland and Croatia. Her work was shown in the Lemon Street Gallery in London in 2008 and the Richmond Hill Gallery both of which have a strong interest in Scottish painters.

A spell in Fife from 2008 was followed by time in France and then by a move to the Scottish Borders in 2016 where Oram has found inspiration anew in the landscape that surrounds her.


Oram says there’s never been a why. "Painting has been part of my life from a very young age. I’ve always drawn and painted and knew I’d be a painter one day. I loved colour then as I do to this day. There is great pleasure in just looking at everything. For me, it is a way of expressing myself. To record all that I notice and sense around me".

Oram's main themes are Still Life and Flowers, Architecture and Landscape. Mixed media is her favourite method of working. It combines the use of acrylics, oil pastel, chalks, and inks and expresses her subject matter well giving huge freedom of expression. Another favoured medium is watercolour and gouache, used with wax relief.

Ann Oram studied at the Edinburgh College of Art where as she in her own words “absorbed the best of Scottish teaching.” Her tutors included Elizabeth Blackadder, John Houston, Kirkland Main, Victoria Crowe, David Michie, George Donald, James Cumming. Hugh Buchanan, Peter McLaren, Martin Churchill and Peter White were among her contemporaries.

Her student days were marked by ever growing recognition of her talent as evidenced by the prizes that she won. Critical acclaim was continuous then and thereafter. The Scotsman recorded “a magnificent golden rendering of the Cathedral, Santiago di Compostella” in the RSW show of 1987.[2] Next year the same critic enjoyed a study of Santa Maria della Salute as “both faithful to fact and atmospheric at the same time.” [3]

Oram's work was among those that then leading commentator W Gordon Smith declared “stopped me in my tracks and persuaded me to look again”[4] at the exhibition in 1989. The Scotsman was of the view a year later that her “artistic fires” had been kindled by her time in Andalucia.”[5] Of her still life of lilies at the 1991 RSW exhibition the Sunday Times said that it explored “the translucent possibilities of rich, layered colours. It is a worthy winner of the May Marshall Brown award.” [6]

Oram's time abroad particularly stimulated her interest in buildings. The same year as her major award the Scotsman said of her study of a Renaissance tower and dome at the Edinburgh College of Art's staff show that it was “a reminder that fine drawing and painting can still go hand in hand.”[7]

Flowers too are a recurrent theme in her work. Critic Clare Henry recorded that “a long spell in Spain has improved Ann Oram's handling, not so much with hill villages and port scenes as with her flower painting. The best of these … are drenched in colour, sensuous and ripe”.[8]

Oram's standing was best summed up in November 1993 by W Gordon Smith.

“London loves the Scottish Colourists and Ann Oram – an inheritor of that tradition and only ten years away from art school has already made her mark. Her second show at the Thackeray Gallery throbs with the vitality of an artist whose response to Mediterranean sunshine is palpable and immediate”.

“She is comfortable with oils, knows how to exploit their density and saturation in still life and landscape, but her watercolours – particularly her huge flower pieces and cathedral exteriors – have achieved a magisterial presence. The scale is audacious, the technique flawless, and the effect can be as arresting as the expressionist sweep of noble edifices in Cadiz and Siena or as passionate as lilies flying their petals like flamboyant flags.”

Her painting has been influenced by the Colourists, especially Peploe and Caddell, but also William Gillies. There are echoes of John Maxwell to be found in her still life pictures. Favourable comparisons with which Oram does not fully agree, have been made by critics to the work of Anne Redpath. For example the Scottish Gallery said in her catalogue of her one person show in its Edinburgh premises in June 2004 “Ann Oram RSW is the Anne Redpath de nos jours. She has consummate ability, a vigorous imagination, a strong individual voice and an evident enjoyment of beautiful things, captured, modified and celebrated in watercolour and oils.”

Atmosphere and colour have always attracted Oram. Keen observation allied to highly skilled draughtsmanship have lead her to a style that instantly recognisable as hers alone. As she once said,

“It's a matter of finding what suits your personality. Once you've tried different styles and seen work by different painters who might influence you – which is all part of your training – you start to developing that which is you and, after a time, it becomes recognisably yours, like handwriting or a thumb print.”[9]

Now settled in the Scottish Borders, she has found new inspiration in the beauty of its countryside in changing seasons.


  1. "Highland News Section". Inverness Courier: 6. 19 February 1991.
  2. Jacques, Richard (9 November 1987). "A prosaic touch at the RSW". The Scotsman Review: 7.
  3. Jacques, Richard (14 December 1988). "Enjoyable Grand Tour of seasonable exhibitions". The Scotsman: 13.
  4. The Observer: 8. 23 April 1989. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. Gage, Edward (22 June 1990). "Arts Section". The Scotsman: 15.
  6. Williams, Andrew Gibbon (27 January 1991). Sunday Times Scotland Edition: 4. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. Jacques, Richard (27 November 1991). The Scotsman: 9. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. Glasgow Herald: 12. 22 June 1990. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. Inverness Courier: 8. 26 August 1997. Missing or empty |title= (help)

This article "Ann Oram" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Ann Oram. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.