My interest in art is lifelong but serious painting did not begin until I cleared out the shed and converted it into a permanent, if chilly, studio. Now I spend as much time as possible working on portraits and landscapes in acrylics and oils in the ‘painting shed’. Usually standing as close as I can to my small space heater.
Before immigrating to Canada from Scotland, I studied life drawing at the Glasgow School of Art in the evenings, and was introduced to many artists who inspire me. Joan Eardley, Winslow Homer, The Glasgow Boys, R B Kitaj, Barbara Rae, David Tress, Kurt Jackson, Christopher Pratt, Wayne Thiebaud, Raimonds Staprans, William Wray...the list continues to grow.
Some of my favourite subject matter comes from memories of Scotland, especially the sea and the rapidly changing weather that is part of life there. Recently, it’s the landscapes of Canada that have given me ideas, and for reasons unknown, the highways of Ontario. I guess I like painting concrete.
When it comes to portraiture, I look to the work of Jenny Saville, Lucien Freud and Tai-Shan Schierenberg among others, and always strive to emulate their painterly approach.
I have not won the BP Portrait Award yet.