Artist statement and CV
It is often the colour that creates an image in my mind's eye first. Once I feel happy with the colours I can see in my head then I can begin to work an image onto paper or canvas.However in the process of painting the colours and forms often develop a direction of their own, a direction I am willing to follow in the process of painting. Line also fascinates me - its undualtions and the shapes formed either consciously or unconsciously are what, to my eye, make a painting succeed or fail. In my own images I try and capture the essence of a place or natural form and see them as having a life or spirit of their own with or without the presence of people.
Originally from Scotland, I have a studio in Sheffield and exhibit regularly with Walkey Edge artists and in venues and galleries in Yorkshire, Scotland and beyond. Trained as a biologist specialising in land use management, I use natural forms as the basis for semi abstraction.
Until recently I worked both as an artist and in the charity and aid sector. My work in the charity and aid sector took me to Africa and to the Middle East and Asia. Influences from Africa and Asia are perhaps not obvious in my painting but the use of distinct blocks of colour and an emphasis on pattern rather than realism I believe has some of its origins in African art. I also owe a debt to Yemeni artists, particularly those working in stained glass. Their superior use of rhythm, patttern and blocks of colour I would love to capture in my own work.
I am now working as an artist full time and recently through the encouragement of a couple of friends, I have begun to explore printmaking. Although at a very early stage, I am enjoying the simplification colours and the boldness of images this necessitates - I'll see how this progresses ....
1960s and 70s: grew up in Stockbridge, Edinburgh. Concentrated on biology and art in school.
1980s: Completed degrees in zoology, psychology and agriculture. Lived in Tanzania for 7 years. Drew and painted in spare time.
1990s: Worked on land use management research in the Scottish hills and uplands. Married. Lived in Cameroon for 3 years. Drew and painted in spare time.
2000s: Worked for a number of charities and aid agencies on a freelance basis. Began exhibiting artwork at a number of venues around Sheffield.
2010s: Giving more time to art while continuing to work in Africa several times a year. Exhibiting more widely in Yorkshire and in Scotland (see list of past exhibitions)
2020s: To be continued ....