“It’s as enjoyable to sketch a contemporary tin as it is an historic one,” says artist-in-residence Catriona Taylor.  “There’s a pleasure in drawing everyday objects. It gives heightened awareness to the ordinary, the unnoticed. And then, just as the historical tins have stories attached, so do the contemporary ones.”

This still life features tins from the current Superior and 1829 ranges. With the Superior range customers can have any colour that they want – matched to exacting standards. For instance the laboratory were able to match the exact colour of the Royal Yacht Britannia’s funnel when it needed to be repainted. They also matched the exact blue of a pack of Gauloises for the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. The 1829 range also has it’s own unique story – named after the year the company was founded, Craig & Rose has recreated historic colours from a number of different time periods, using the highest quality pigments.

Catriona was intrigued to find stacks of photographs in the archives of Edinburgh properties painted with Craig & Rose paints over the generations, including the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA), St Andrew’s Church on George Street, the Headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland and Edinburgh University Examination Halls. Many landmark buildings around the UK, like St Pauls’ Cathedral, Longleat House and the Brighton Pavilion repeatedly appear in the historic purchase ledgers.

Catriona also gathered the Craig & Rose workforce in front of the factory for photographs, which she then incorporated into this still life, using several washes to make all the objects blend in together. The team of workers at the factory include highly skilled paint makers,  the laboratory and customer service teams and the despatch team, who send the finished product out to many national and international locations. “Tradition, knowledge transfer and continuity all count for so much, so I wanted to pay tribute to the people who are keeping that tradition alive,” said Catriona.