Growing up on the East Coast of Scotland, with a keen interest in history, storytelling and my own family heritage, I create drawings and paintings to explore connections with the people who have come before me and the land that inspires me. The places in my paintings are reminiscent of things I have seen and are often an abstracted essence of areas that inspire and are partly imagined.
I have found a deep connection with the place where I live and work. The edge between land and sea is particularly inspiring and there are themes that resonate deeply. The way the weather has shaped the land, the ebb and flow of the tide, the wildness and unpredictability of nature or the mark of humanity on the landscape for good or bad. The colours and textures of a place can be a starting point for creating work that is truly a story of humanity’s unique connection with our surroundings. One that can be explored in an intuitive way and echo our own unique nature as much as the nature and landscape that I see.
I love the details that we see in a landscape. Particularly where houses and villages and harbours are rooted in and belong to the surrounding hills and coastline. Built in such a way that they appear to have always been there. Structures and shapes that mark the edges between land and sea. There is a sense of history, perhaps a melancholic way of reminding us of what has long since passed, what we have lost in many ways.
Layers of muted colours and textured paint are built up in the same way that memories are accumulated over our lifetime and from the generations before. A history, half remembered, stories told and adapted over time. I often feel that rather than painting or drawing on a surface, I am excavating an image, a person or a place, revealing something that has been there for a long, long time. My process is one of applying layers and scraping or erasing away, leaving remnants that are built up and removed over and over until the final image appears.