I have been a professional artist for thirty years, living and working in the Midlothian village of Crichton. I have had very little formal art education and spent my early years working as a Primary and Special Needs teacher.
To begin with I was a tapestry weaver and, as such, became a member of The Scottish Craft Centre exhibiting with them over a number of years until they finally closed. Painting seemed a natural extension of this and had an immediacy that labour-intensive weaving lacked.
My work is simply ‘about nature’, inspired by the familiar Border hills and by the wild beauty and unpredictable nature of the sea. I work from sketches made on visits to the Hebrides and West Coast and the more accessible beaches of the East Coast.
I use acrylic paint, often combined with a range of mediums to create texture.
I work on canvas, on paper and on board, applying the paint in layers,both thickly and thinly.
There is no preliminary sketching on the canvas. The image develops, layer by layer, the success or failure of which will dictate what the next stage will be.
This process can take many weeks. However, I can always tell when a painting is finished.
I think my approach to painting is best expressed by Picasso;
‘I never do a painting as a work of art. All of them are researches’