Can you tell me about your practice?
My paintings are a series of anthology and personal ‘mental souvenirs’, drawing inspiration from partially recalled places and memories from old photographs. This is reflected in my palette and treatment of paint onto canvas or board. The foundation of my work is informed by sketches, written documentation, and photographs from the 1950s to the 1970s. The use of a limited or monochrome palette makes for an atmospheric and evocative interpretation of images from the past.
How do you get started on a piece of work?
Concentrating on material, I focus on sustainability, creating my own oil pigments using materials from the earth. Using foot long brushes I drag the paint down the board/canvas covering the whole space with one specific colour. Using this monochromatic colour and vertical lines, I use a wet cloth with a brush cleaner to remove away the paint and draw from either imagination, sketches or references.
Who or what are your biggest influences?
Traveling to certain locations that are remote or hard to find. Going out of my way to meet established artists to gain inspiration. Artists such as Callum Innes who taught me knowledge and understanding of the potential of oil paint. Other artists like Andrew Cranston, Elizabeth Ogilvie and Adrian Morris for their use of material in a sustainable way and their sculptural approach to exhibiting.
The scale of your paintings are always small and intimate, like a postcard from memory which resonates with your interest in found photography, can you talk a bit further about this?
Photography has a huge purpose in my art work, specifically old family photographs with unusual compositions or colourings. My art captures a moment in time, much like photography so one can draw certain parallels.
Oil on paint has aways been my focal point when it comes to painting. Finding different types of wood from clean cut birch plywood to foraged abandoned beach wood. Using the grain of wood as a surface texture to come through specific paintings or conversely priming surfaces with gesso and sanding it down to an egg shell smooth consistency.
My large vintage wallpaper brushes I can’t live without those, they’re not easy to find. I also can’t live without my Kusakabe ‘fresh pink’ oil paint which I order from Japan.
Yes, “Navigating the Art World: Professional Practise for the Early Career Artist” This book speaks about life after art school and what to do and think about as an emerging young artist. I believe this book should be read by every art graduate.
Finally, is there anything new coming up that you would like to tell us about?
I am currently working with two charities, one in Aberdeen (Maggie’s Art Extravaganza) and the other with The Glasgow and Edinburgh Children’s Hospital (Prestonfield House). Two of my water based paintings which will be displayed in the National Gallery of Scotland (Edinburgh). As well as my exciting exhibition this winter at Ballymaloe House (County Cork - Ireland).