Stillness, motion, essence:
some of the things I try to capture in my paintings
I have been creative all my life: writing both prose and poetry, designing gardens for others as well as myself and, increasingly, painting.
I work in acrylics on either board or canvas and take my inspiration from the landscape around me, interesting buildings and the shadows they cast, characterful faces, or simply the mood of a place. Sometimes an abstract theme will take root in my imagination... I paint in every style: representational, semi-abstract, totally abstract; and my palette goes from delicate to very vivid.
For 25 years I lived in Scotland: hills, sea cliffs, beaches, huge skies and rolling farmland with rich red earth were my daily inspiration.
The East Neuk of Fife was another, with its characteristic architecture and different feel to the land. Now I live on the Welsh border and have to 'look anew' at the world around me, let it sink right into me, before it can inform my art.
Sky has always been special to me, not just sunsets and sunrises, but the glowering masses of storm cloud, the wind-blown wisps, the unusual formations, small glimmers of shining light...the permutations of sky - like that of sea - are endless and a delight.
The natural shapes found in landscapes may suggest a more abstract handling: as in this painting, called Field Clasped by Forest.
I often 'see' the painting while looking at, say, a landscape and maybe do a quick sketch or take notes of the general idea. Other times, I use photos (often several) to put together the basic composition. Sometimes I just sit quietly in front of the empty canvas, knowing that something is 'brewing up' and will eventually emerge.
Being a very hands-on person, I love making and texturing my own board-with-integral-frame kind of 'canvas'. Painting on board feels very different, with textures hard to achieve on canvas. I love experimenting and I'm often taken by surprise as the painting evolves seemingly with a mind of its own!
I think art is about inviting the viewer to see the world differently. And the viewers' input, how they see a work of art, what they feel, is part of this whole process of art...and in that sense there is never actually a 'finished product'.
"Every time I look at your painting I marvel at the light in it. " customer, Aberdeen
"Our corporate clients keep asking whether they can get a print of this portrait. " customer, Montrose
"This is the essence of Scottish landscape for me - will it fit in my suitcase? " customer, Australia
And if you're interested in poetry as well, here is the link to my poetry website: