The Jetty Gallery
Born, Glasgow, 1958
"I paint from life with passion in oils with fingers and rags (no brushes) and my subject matter is varied from figurative, floral and still life to landscape. I used to paint with a knife but found I was missing the curved line so I now tend to work quickly with my hands. This method evolved really out of the necessity of finding a speedy way to work from life, as a model can only sit for a finite time and I don’t like revisiting a pose. I find the pose is never quite the same and I’d rather start afresh.
I make a start with rags, dipping into oil and marking out the light, mixing on the board as I go and dragging; working wet on wet. The paint is never diluted. I love the feel of the paint and try to put energy and emotion into my paintings, making an abstract start and tightening as I go. The danger is always to over tighten and overwork the piece but I do enjoy experimenting and taking a painting as far as it can go. I can put a painting away for weeks or months (occasionally years) and revisit it with a fresh eye. When I think I’ve finished but am not quite sure I’ll put the painting at the end of my bed and wake up to see what’s lacking – a tip from the late Anne Gordon, a wonderful Scottish colourist.
Largely self-taught, I have however benefited greatly from attending life classes under Christine Ironside, Drummond Mayo and Ann Johnston."