It seems that Alex Salmond can't even send a CHRISTMAS CARD without criticism from those TWATS AT THE SCOTSMAN. The following are their comments:
ALEX Salmond has regularly used Scottish artists for his cards. Last year it was John Bellany, slightly risky, but well enough known to silence any suggestion that the First Minister was being too arty. The year before, however, the choice of John Lowrie Morrison was pure populism. "I am a man of the people," it said.
In contrast to both the preceding years, however, this year's card is artistic fence-sitting. The artist Gerard Burns is not well-known, but he is safe. The picture shows a pretty girl with long hair, wearing a kilt, a Saltire over her shoulder. SADVERTISEMENTeen in profile against a wintry landscape, she is gazing intently in front of her, marching towards the future, no doubt.
The subject looks about 12. Salmond has youth on his side and the SNP is the future seems to be the intended message. But if the SNP want to seize the future, they will need to show more imagination and daring than this shallow picture does.
The picture falls apart visually. The figure is painted in careful detail, but the artist has not fitted her convincingly into the landscape. The light is all wrong and, in contrast to her high finish, the trees and snow are painted with a kind of sham freedom painters tend to use to hide the fact they are working from photos. Visual muddle combined with arty sham suggests a dodgy political message.
• Duncan Macmillan is The Scotsman's visual art critic
DUNCAN YOU'RE A PRICK. FUCK OFF!