I live in the West Coast of Scotland and being mostly self-taught, my current work is in still life and life drawing for technical refreshment, landscape for the joy of exploring colour and how I see things. In Gesso for the endless possibilities this medium can extend. With recent worldwide travel adventures behind me I am now able to focus on my home, Scotland. I have found my latest Gesso works reflect how I interpret what I see around me on a daily basis.
My background is in graphic and multimedia design, although I have always produced fine art on canvas, paper and board. I am privileged to travel and be inspired by the great artists who have gone before, as well as those currently working today. I recently visited the Far East and have been inspired by the vibrant colours and cultural differences there. Having my artistic practices on the periphery of my life for the last 15 years, I am now able to take it forward, front and centre and bring everything into focus.
I have been attracted to the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh for over 30 years and have further investigated the techniques they used in Gesso artworks by participating in a workshop at the House for an Art Lover, Glasgow in October 2012. Gesso is a medium which is gum based mixed with whiting/chalk. There are many different materials which can be used such as rabbit skin glue and crushed marble which was used in ancient times but today I use the more easily accessible acrylic Gesso although I have experimented with the traditional materials too. The Gesso is applied with a piping bag or vessel, left to dry (usually overnight), colour is applied, dried then sanded back and finished with a lacquer seal. My designs flow organically from a rough idea I have, sometimes I have sketched out a mini version on paper just to check on balance and design but I find the ones I feel best about come from my heart. It is a serene way of working (most of the time) as it cannot be rushed. Since 2013, when I exhibited in Casa Batllo, Barcelona, I have developed a style which incorporates social comment in the form of a 'word montage' at the bottom of my works.