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."
The Jetty Gallery