Anne captures Scots history on her canvas

Anne Power's portrait of Nicola Sturgeon - one of five First Minister portraits she has painted
Anne Power's portrait of Nicola Sturgeon - one of five First Minister portraits she has painted

A Falkirk-born artist has played her part in documenting Scottish history by painting portraits of all five of the country’s First Ministers.

Anne Power started with Alex Salmond around 18 months ago and finished with Jack McConnell in November.

Now the talented painter’s portraits will be the star attraction in an exhibition in the Scottish Parliament running from January 18 and a special reception hosted by exhibition sponsor Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald on January 21.

Anne said: “I had no plans to do all five First Ministers when I started, but after Alex I wanted to do Nicola Sturgeon and things just went from there.

“There was no sort of rhyme or reason to it, things seemed to be just growing on their own.

“I went on to do Henry McLeish, Donald Dewar and finally Jack McConnell in that order.

“The reason it took me so long was I wanted to capture the character and personality of each First Minister.

“These paintings come from my own imagination and observation, they were not copied from anything.”

Anne’s love of art and the creative process goes right back to primary school in Grangemouth when her teachers gave her unlimited access to the art department’s supplies and allowed her to use the school walls to hang her large murals of riders on horseback.

The influence of her teachers during that time had such an effect that it has stayed with her throughout her time at Telford College in Edinburgh and her life and work today as she paints her portraits at her studio in West Lothian.

In order to give something back for these early formative experiences, Anne has kindly invited young artists from Bo’ness Academy, Grangemouth High School and Braes High School to share the spotlight with her, showing several portfolios of their own portrait work at the parliament.

Bo’ness Academy pupils will also be on hand to provide the musical accompaniment throughout the reception.

Anne said: “No one has seen these portraits together in one collection, so it’s very exciting to have them unveiled at the Scottish Parliament in front of MSPs.”