My work is inspired by my everyday observations of my surroundings and my love and concern for nature. I grew up in a very rural part of Fife and spent a great deal of time as a child drawing animals, diversifying into chicken wire chickens as a teenager – not too much has changed in the intervening years!
A strong love of pattern and shape is evident in my work and the inspiration behind most of my paintings results from a fleeting moment or chance encounter; a sudden flash of sunlight through the trees, a flock of oystercatchers rising from the shore. I am fascinated by the transformative effect of light and find endless inspiration in the changeable skies of NW England and Scotland. I always aim to convey the atmosphere or character of my subjects.
I walk every day, and I sketch and take photos while I’m out. I usually then complete paintings back in my studio, often working entirely from memory. I do not have a favourite medium as such, preferring to alter the medium in response to the subject. I work rapidly and spontaneously using lots of different tools – including fingers, old toothbrushes, sponges, rags and palette knives. I tend to make a lot of mess, but find that this approach helps me to capture a sense of life and movement.
I do not see my sculptures as a separate art form, more as a tangible extension of drawing. There’s something really pleasing about creating a three-dimensional piece of work. I’m currently learning to weld and enjoying this process immensely.