Having worked in a wide range of employment from scraping barnacles off large sea buoys to managing a jewellery shop, I then decided to travel through Europe for 4 years.
On my return at the age of 28 I decided to merge my passion for Scottish landscape and painting become an artist and so spent the next 4years at Edinburgh College of art till the summer of 1989. I have been determined to make a living from the skill I had learned from my time of being a student and as a consequence my career path has weaved its way through a variety of different aspects, commissions, historical research projects, tutor to various art groups, contributing to various exhibitions along with solo exhibitions as my career has developed.
My studio lies about 12 miles south of Edinburgh so I travel to many locations around Scotland to paint. Some of the areas that I enjoy returning to are Loch Tay, Glen Lyon, the Linn of Dee near Braemar and East Lothian which I have returned to frequently over the past 18 years. The contrast of dramatic landscapes and weather conditions in Scotland combined with the subtle change of colour caused by atmospheric space, gives me the opportunity to add to my palette those colours that I particularly enjoy using such as yellow ochre, burnt sienna and smouldering blues which are all evident from September to May thus missing out the midge months, when I go to the beach instead and can use a similar palette, weather permitting.
I work mostly with alkyd, a medium that depends on the use of resin rather than oil to suspend the pigment, the advantage is both aesthetic and practical, all colours dry over the same length of time and will be touch dry within 24 hours. Paintings when completely dry take on a chalk like appearance which I find sympathetic to atmospheric landscape painting , When I varnish a painting, the work is usually on a canvas support and without glass, with the result that it is difficult to detect the difference between an oil and an alkyd painting .
Although most of my time at present is spent working with alkyd, I also use pastel chalk as an alternative medium and acrylic as a tool for sketching out doors making full use of its fast drying time to respond to the opportunities that fast moving weather can bring.
Over the years I have worked with my response, to my instinctive reaction to landscape as it is transformed by light or atmospheric conditions that may only last moments before it merging back into the camouflage of its surrounding environment and become a hidden secret again, waiting for others to discover the beauty of the moment with the changing light.