Scottish artist Jolomo to preach sermon for the Queen

Best-selling Scottish artist John Lowrie Morrison, known as Jolomo, has been invited to preach for the first time at Crathie Kirk for the Queen this Sunday.
Best-selling Scottish artist John Lowrie Morrison, known as Jolomo. Picture: PABest-selling Scottish artist John Lowrie Morrison, known as Jolomo. Picture: PA
Best-selling Scottish artist John Lowrie Morrison, known as Jolomo. Picture: PA

Morrison, whose expressionist landscapes of Scotland’s wild landscapes have made him one of the country’s most popular artists, trained as a lay reader in the Church of Scotland and frequently preaches in churches in Argyll, where he has a home and studio.

He has revealed that the theme of sermon will be the same as sermons he has given in locations ranging from Rutherglen in Glasgow to the Scottish islands, and will incorporate his love of art and how it intertwines with his Christian faith.

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He is the first in a group of invited speakers to preach at the church while the Queen is in residence at Balmoral with a number of members of the Royal Family.

Morrison said: “I am extremely honoured to accept this invitation. I enjoy every opportunity to preach, and every congregation is different, but this engagement is a little bit special.

“My theme will be art, creativity and spirituality, a subject close to my heart.”

Born in Maryhill in Glasgow, the artist has previously spoken about the fact that his painting – and in particular his use of high-key colour – is an expression of his Christian faith.

The Rev Kenneth I MacKenzie, minister of the parish of Braemar and Crathie, domestic chaplain to the Queen in Scotland, and deputy lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, draws up a list of potential speakers each year.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted that Jolomo is coming to preach here.

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“He’s well-known throughout Argyllshire and the western side of Scotland as a lay preacher and gives sermons a couple of times a week.

“We do have the privilege here of hearing a lot of speakers, each offering stories from their own life. Jolomo will give an interesting angle on his art, culture and his life over the years.

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“We have a lot of visitors who come along at this time of year, some will come because it’s John.”

Morrison and his wife Maureen have been guests of the Royal Family before.

The couple are vice-presidents of the charity Carers Trust with the Princess Royal. Morrison was also a luncheon guest of the Queen at Buckingham Palace in March.

Morrison trained as a painter at Glasgow School of Art and worked in art education for 25 years before taking up painting full-time. He is now one of Scotland’s most successful artists, with an estimated turnover above £2 million each year.

His paintings have been bought by celebrities including Madonna, Sting and Simon Le Bon.

In 2007 he established the Jolomo Award, a prestigious annual award for Scottish landscape painting.

It is the largest arts award in Scotland and the UK’s largest privately-funded arts award, with a prize currently of £25,000 for the winner and £35,000 for all the prizes.