The Castle Gallery
The Castle Gallery
Born in Edinburgh, I am a graduate from the Glasgow School of Art.
My grandfather was an accomplished artist and my most valued possessions are a small selection of books awarded to him as prizes for his art in 1897 from the Glasgow Master Painters Association along with a couple of his paintings.
Family legend has it that he ‘hung out’ in Montmartre in Paris in the early 1900’s.
My painting style is direct, unfussed brush strokes and knife work usually in oils on canvas creating what I call ‘Statement Pieces’ of a reasonable size where the contrasting textures reflect the reality of the scene and the reality of natures colour palette in front of me – avoiding any artificiality in producing the image. “I aim to capture real places and moments in time – creating a window on another place which the viewer will find uplifting and will be able to return to it for a visual, mental or spiritual ‘refresh’ (feel good factor) – especially when it is sky, sea or beaches and the combination of all three.
I do believe that we are ‘hardwired’ in our genes to receive a calming energy from these locations – probably they meant safety. security and relaxation to our ancestors in dim and distant past and that a painting can equally deliver some of that resonance ?
My first focus is on the West of Scotland where I have had connections over many years.
"Skipness Flower Meadow"
Oil on Canvas
76cm x 102cm Approx (Picture)
I'm a Scottish artist raised on the Isle of Bute, currently living and working in my Glasgow home studio.
The subject of the majority of my work is landscapes and seascapes from around the Isle of Bute and the British coastline.
Working with oils and gouache both 'plein air' and in the studio, I explore colour and textural variations to achieve impressions of my subjects, that have an added dimensionality and life up close.
I try to display immediacy and looseness with my brush strokes, capturing as much truth from the scene as I can without overdoing it.
The surface texture is developed in oils by using pallet knives and thick loaded brush strokes dispersed around thin layers of paint, with the occasional points of raw surface poking through.
My gouache work Is more inclined towards exploring colour relations but I also apply thick layers of texture when I feel it is needed.
Subjects that I find myself drawn to continuously are the fleeting light effects that are present at sunset and twilight, seascapes with large dramatic skies and reflections in water.
"Port Pier Sunset"
5" x 7"
Bute truly is my 'happy place' - both a great source of inspiration for my work and a wonderful way of topping up the vitamin sea wandering it's peaceful, picturesque shorelines.
My grandparents retired here and they instilled in us a love for this beautiful wee island from an early age and as a family we are fortunate to enjoy a wee home here still.
My career / day job is challenging & enjoyable as a creative designer for print, however I've always loved that painting is so freeing in contrast to the more concise world of design !
Over the past few years I've worked mainly on canvas with acrylic. I love a mix of painting outdoors and in my wee studio, always working to invoke the memory of a sunset walk or day spent on the shore as in my latest series of little paintings of Bute.
My brand new series of paintings entitled "Peaceful Portals" Inspired by this beautiful isle and the peaceful views from it's pretty shorelines.
Each one created to be a portal to peace & tranquillity for the viewer. Loved painting them and I hope you enjoy them ! Fi 💙
"Sunset Blaze over Arran"
Acrylic on Canvas, Varnished