David Fulton is best known for his charming figurative paintings and landscapes, executed in a loose and broad manner with a mesmerizing colour palette. Fulton established an international reputation as a skilled painter of children and pastoral scenes. His subjects were depicted in rural settings, often woodland or pastures abundant with flora and fauna.
Fulton was born in Parkhead in the East End of Glasgow, Scotland and showed great artistic ability from a young age. He studied painting at the Annfield Academy and later became a student at the prestigious Glasgow School of Art, where he won numerous awards for his paintings.
Fulton’s work shows a strong influence in the work of the Scottish Impressionist William McTaggart, whose broad, expressive handling of paint and en plein air technique has often been likened to his European contemporaries, the French Impressionists. McTaggart’s use of flickering highlights, varied brushstrokes and palette knife textures also reflect a profound and lasting influence of the landscape painting of John Constable.
In the 1880s and 1890s many notable Scottish art collectors acquired Impressionist paintings by Degas, Monet, Renoir and Whistler from the Glasgow art dealer Alexander Reid and many of these would have been seen by the Scottish contemporary artists including Fulton. Artists of the “Glasgow School” began to emulate their European contemporaries as a result of this exposure. Whilst Fulton was not officially a member of this avant-guarde group of artists, his loose application of paint and keen observation of nature reflects their influence on his choice of subject matter and technique.
Fulton exhibited at many principal galleries in Scotland and London from 1884 onwards. Fulton was one of the earliest members of the Glasgow Art Club. He was elected to the Royal Society of Watercolour Artists in 1891 and also exhibited frequently at the Royal Academy in London.