So now that you’re here, may I invite you to come with me on a brief(ish) summary of my journey so far…?
As a child I was surrounded by ‘Art’ in one form or another. My Father was originally a carpenter and boat builder, but as an Artist he spent many hours in his studio immersed in his latest work. The walls were adorned by his paintings in their hundreds. Landscapes, trawler boats, seascapes from all over Scotland and Ireland. He lived and breathed it.
Before his passing in 2012, he took part in the Channel 4 TV series ‘Watercolour Challenge’ and was also a founder member of Banff Art Club some 40 years ago.
Always forward thinking, it amazes me to think that as far back as 2001 he had his own website, ‘Deeside Fine Art’.
When websites were merely a twinkle in most people’s eyes!
Also a musician, my Dad was the guitarist in a popular 60s band. And for many years together with my Mother (a beautiful singer) they performed regularly as a musical duo. Practice nights in the kitchen are amongst my fondest memories.
My Brother, who was (and still is) five years older than me, is a very talented guitarist. And as a teenager it was commonplace for the sound of Deep Purple ‘Smoke on the Water’ to be reverberating down the street from the ‘Summer House’ (a brick shed at the end of the garden), courtesy of whichever band he was rehearsing with at the time. There was creativity and music! music! everywhere! And I loved it.
So I knew from an early age that I had inherited my parents love of music, and a good singing voice. And throughout the years I’ve embraced and positively revelled in every moment as a rock band lead singer, and as a solo performer. The show off in me lends itself well!
And truth be told nothing could compare….until now!
Painting was not something I thought I had any talent for…whatsoever. And other than halfheartedly bagging a school Art ‘o’ level…I had made that assumption and firmly stuck to it.
And then it happened, THE SPARK!
Around eighteen months ago, my Husband (believing I had ‘something’) went out and bought some supplies. He set up an easel, popped up a canvas, and laid out some paints in a conspicuous location i.e middle of the sitting room. He thought he just might be able to tempt and tease that ‘something’ out of me.
But it didn’t tempt me at all. Art was for other people.
So I avoided and walked around them for several days, picked up a paintbrush now and again, squirted a couple of colours on the palette, then declared in no uncertain terms “It’s no good, I can’t do it!”
I didn’t even know where to start.
Not to be deterred, my Husband went about starting the canvas off with a few splashes of colour.
Then a few nights later I walked over to it again, and picked up a brush…but this time ‘something’ happened…’something’ began to flow….and then it flowed…and it flowed….and it flowed….What joy!!!
In fact, from that precise moment, it has just kept on flowing. Thanks to the persistence of my lovely Husband David, I had tapped into the ‘something’ he thought he had recognised, but that I never even knew existed. Incidentally, I now really believe there is creativity inside every one of us, just waiting to be drawn out by perhaps a combination of tenacity and fortune. (After all, TENACITY AND FORTUNE are a winning combo are they not?)
Since that night I can’t even begin to tell you how it has injected a truly magical dimension into my life, one I could never have imagined. Right from that moment, my life changed. Here was something that actually paralleled my passion for singing…and never in my wildest dreams did I think that a possibility.
I started thinking constantly of new ideas, new techniques, I started to dream about them, and couldn’t wait to put them onto a canvas. I was eager and hungry to learn more and more ways of expressing what was suddenly bursting to get out. No longer a choice, it became a need and a necessity. I wish I could convey to you how enriched my life has become as a result, but I can never come close.
Born in Edinburgh (just a little while ago) I grew up and spent most of my life in the small fishing community of Macduff, on the rugged North East coast of Scotland. Married at 17, a lovely Son and two beautiful Daughters followed by the time I was 21 (from which I now have three adorable Grandchildren). Gaining a Batchelor of Arts degree in Professional Development in the field of Education (BAPD), for 18 years I taught Beauty Therapy as a Further Education Lecturer. Following on from that period of my life, I happily enjoyed a few years travelling the World, and am now a full time artist having immersed myself fully in my new calling.
At the moment I divide my time between Aberdeenshire in Scotland and Portocolom, Mallorca…and absolutely adore the visual stimulation that surrounds me. The colours of the sea and sky. The beauty and tragedy of nature. Energy in its endless forms. The synergy of the elements. Hope, life, movement, truth. So far I think I have unravelled only the first threads of what I see as an exciting Aladdin’s cave full of colour, ideas, technique, and possibility! And already the very positive response I have received from buyers and professional artists has overwhelmed me.
Working mainly with acrylic on canvas, my work is created using an unusual mix of loose free expression, often combined with controlled intricate detail. In most pieces texture features hugely, with sgraffito and impasto techniques amongst others. Gold mica flakes, black lava granules and anything else I feel moved to use. For example, the fish eye in ‘Synergy’ is taken from what forms in the lid of the paint tube. I rarely use a brush…my favourite tool is a backscratcher!
I do love to observe the viewer being drawn into a painting, then watch as they embark on a journey of the senses, moved to touch the different textures and ask how they are done. They examine and explore each part of it. One such viewer and subsequent buyer gave the ultimate compliment…
‘I could stand here for a hundred hours and still discover new things.’
So my philosophy is simple…it is never too late to delve within yourself to see what you might find!
My inspiration? Well I could say the wonder and beauty of the two very diverse Countries I spend most of my time, and that would be true.
However aside from that, I am often moved to convey a message of social conscience, reflecting an issue that we as the present caretakers of this amazing planet are concerned for. Or indeed it may be a thought provoking celebration of life itself. I don’t always know where the creative process will take me, and sometimes a painting is created to simply loose oneself in, and just enjoy.
And truthfully my inspiration can be anything as simple as a solitary word, a feeling, a story, a snowdrop, a rock, a colour, a belief, a scene, a cloud, a metal, an insect, a myth, a shape, anything. In fact as a commissioned artist, I welcome anything thrown at me (not literally)…and then what follows is the explosive and exciting process of its interpretation and creation!
In terms of artists, I have tremendous admiration for Ginger Gilmore (former wife of Pink Floyds’ David Gilmore). I identify both with her work and with her as a person, and would dearly love to meet her one day.
Andrei Protsouk is another contemporary artist who absolutely enthrals me with his work.
And finally a word of appreciation for my beautiful Mum, who is also my biggest fan. She and I of course share the regret that my Dad is not here to see how art has become such a part of my life. His well worn paint spattered easel takes pride of place in my studio, and there are SO many things I want to ask him.
But sometimes, in fact often, I actually feel him sitting beside me offering words of advice and encouragement.
And really, above all else, I just want to make him proud.
Thank you for your time dear reader, I wish you love in your lives and peace in your hearts.