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When people walk into my studio they often ask, “Have you always painted?” and I always reply, “Yes”. I can’t remember a time when painting and drawing have not been central to my world. When at primary school I had to decorate the assembly hall with 4ft. cartoon figures! I was awarded the Art Prize before leaving Kirkcaldy High School. I went on to train at Duncan of Jordanstone College in Dundee, and at Edinburgh Art College. While bringing up my family of three children I did mainly commissioned work and private teaching.
I moved to Surrey in the nineteen eighties and undertook much more teaching, and studied the human form in great depth working intensively, exclusively from the model. As you can see from my life and portrait work, I have evolved a way of portraying the human form using line supported by colour, almost like a scaffolding. The result is a fragmented image held together with accurate observation and true perspective. I love the challenge of a truly foreshortened pose. Also the light reflecting on the form I find particularly inspiring.
Whilst in Surrey I had four solo shows at The Gallery, Virginia Water, as well as exhibiting there and in London and other local galleries. (See my Biography).
I have now moved to an idyllic location in South Devon, facing Burgh Island Hotel and fronting onto the sea. I just love to paint and now have the immense challenge of shifting sands and constantly changing seas and skies in all weathers. I quite often just observe the island and the sea, trying to remember every detail to be incorporated into my new work.
One of my main sources of inspiration has been the wonderful Art Deco Hotel on Burgh Island – its architecture in relation to its environment. My main objective is always to orchestrate interconnecting rhythmic colours and shapes to create a vision beyond realism.
I mainly paint with a palette knife, resulting in a thickly textured surface. My most recent work is almost three-
Included in my portfolio is a body of work very special to me – my personal interpretations of the wild life in Africa – especially the elephants. I spend three months a year in South Africa during which time I visit the Addo Elephant Park and other South African National Parks. I have been portraying elephants for some years, trying at first to portray the inter-
My zebra paintings are concerned with the variations of the patterned stripes, creating a wonderful moving image. The Flamingos is a series of abstract images creating the illusion of a moving mass of these beautiful birds which I observed at Lake Nakura in Kenya.
One of the most challenging commissions that I have undertaken is a large six-