About

Thank you for visiting my website. I hope you enjoy looking at my paintings.

For much of my life I’ve lived by or within sight of the sea, and the sea is probably my biggest inspiration. I was born on the South coast of England, and brought up in a coastguard cottage overlooking the Isle of Wight – but I’ve lived in North East Scotland for more than 20 years. Inspired by the spectacular Scottish landscape, I work mainly in my garden studio, on a hill with panoramic views of Findhorn Bay, the Moray Firth and beyond.

 

I’ve always painted, but I only came to really focus on my own painting in about 2010, after studying art history (in the 1970s) and spending many years writing books about other people’s art.

I enjoy experimenting with different ways of painting the same motif: the view from my garden, across the Firth to Tarbat Ness lighthouse and to the far North of Scotland; the vast expanses of sand and sea at Findhorn, Nairn and Lossiemouth. I love the amazing coastal landscape on my doorstep, and in my paintings I try to convey the experience of living here – the sensation of seaspray on a windswept beach, the magic of moonlight over still water, the muted mystery of the snow-covered landscape, the brooding atmosphere of slate-grey skies over a golden field. Other wild coasts – from the West of Scotland to Cornwall – have also been an inspiration.

I work mainly in acrylic, and tend to work intuitively – building up layers, adding glazes of acrylic paint and ink, pushing the paint around with palette knife, brushes, brayers and silicon wedges-  and sometimes using my fingers. I often scrape back through layers of paint to create expressive marks, and enjoy flinging and flicking paint – especially when painting seascapes, where spatters of fluid white paint or ink recreate the energy of breaking waves.  The way a painting evolves often depends on “happy accidents” which lead me in a direction I may not have consciously thought about.

I have become fascinated by the expressive capabilities of watercolour, and this has impacted on my acrylic painting, which I often use thinly, allowing it to dribble and find its own path. I also love adding areas of gold leaf and metallic powder to add a little shimmer.

This acrylic on paper, with a shimmer of metallic powder,  uses dribbles of fluid acrylic paint and ink to evoke the movement of waves.

If you would like to purchase a painting, do get in touch (see contact page). I welcome visitors to my studio by appointment and during NEOS (North East Open Studios). Please see below for this year’s dates.

My work is in private collections throughout the UK and abroad, and has been shown at the following Scottish galleries and festivals:

Frames Gallery, Perth
Eden Court, Inverness
Findhorn Bay Arts Festival
Moray Art Centre, Findhorn (solo and mixed shows)
Elgin Gallery (solo and mixed shows)
Elgin Library (with Moray Arts Club mixed show)
An Talla Solais, Ullapool
Gallery 48, Cromarty
Golspie Gallery
Logie Steading Gallery
Logie Steading Long Room
Nairn Book and Arts Festival
QC Gallery, Nairn
The Gallery in Aberlour
The Found Gallery, Dunbar
The Velvet Easel, Portobello, Edinburgh

Awards

George Spence Trophy 2016

Events in 2022

23 April -14 May 2022  I’m having a joint exhibition with jeweller Sally Nowell at The Gallery in Aberlour, which will run through the celebrated Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.  It’s called The Spirit of Colour, and should be beautiful. Both Sally and I are inspired by the colours in our local landscapes, and our colour palettes often echo each other.

10 September – 18 September 2022 After a gap of a couple of years, I’m really looking forward to taking part in North East Open Studios (NEOS). Details are available on the NEOS website and in the free yellow book which is distributed across NE Scotland and beyond. Do come along – it’s a really fun way for artists and art lovers to get together. Works of various sizes will be available at a wide range of prices.