1945 Born in Hawick, in the Scottish Borders
1962 Won a bursary to study Fine Art and Graphic Design at Sheffield Art College
Elected to the Pastel Society in 2009.
I live in the Forest of Bowland which is a moorland community of scattered farms and barns crisscrossed by a pattern of dry stone walls. It offers me never ending supply of subject matter to paint. The ribbon roads and squat farm buildings are often a feature in my work. Annual holidays on the West Coast of Scotland, a childhood living on the edge of the Peak District and now in the hills of the Forest of Bowland and Dales of North Yorkshire were other influences. I feel I have a natural affinity with the wild northern landscapes.
Scottish painters have always held a special interest for me: Joan Eardley, whose work seems contemporary even today, the Scottish Colourists and now Barbara Rae and John Brown and other contemporary painters whose work is colourful and verging on the abstract.
John Blockley has been a major influence on my life and work. On first seeing his paintings I was immediately aware of a vision and interpretation of the landscape to which I could relate and have since always had great admiration for his work.
Member – The Pastel Society.
I enjoy being out in the landscape sketching and collecting visual images for future work. Often my attention will be captured by the unexpected. The sudden burst of yellow in the spring gorse or the rich burnt sienna in a moorland view often sparks my interest in a subject. I use sketch notes and photography but once settled on a subject I will then abandon the research material in favour of creativity and intuition.
My working approach is studio based; I work on full size mount board, later cropping the image. I draw with enthusiasm and vigour using conte sticks, hard pastels and charcoal, quickly fixed and then brushed over with clear gesso. This gives a slightly gritty surface to take on the pastel and leaves a varied texture brushed in the direction of the landscape.
Although I predominantly works in Pastel, I use an under painting of watercolour or acrylic paint. Some of this underpainting will be left exposed, some just peeping through. This can reveal exciting marks to be exaggerated and worked into; splashing and dribbling paint and water into the soft pastel work all adds to building the painting.
It is important to me that a painting has areas of busy texture and mark making balanced with calm quiet passages. Often in despair, usually brought about because the painting has got all too busy, I will sweep a hand across the surface of the work. This has the effect of simplifying and blurring the image allowing for more time and space to rework or leave the painting space to breath.
2005 The Bill Patterson Memorial Award
2003 The Cuthbert Award
2002 The Frank Herring Award
2001 The Cuthbert Award
June 2009 The Walker Gallery, Harrogate
November 2008 Orange Street Gallery, Uppingham
June 2006 The Walker Gallery, Harrogate
2006 Orange Street Gallery, Uppingham
The Wykham Gallery, Stockbridge