I love exploring the outdoors – researching and absorbing inspiration for my paintings. These are principally representational oils, “alla prima”. I apply fresh colour quickly, smooth it and then loosely sculpt rocks, for example, with palette knife and brushes directly onto the wet surface. In my seascapes, which are mostly from Galloway (but also the west coast and Outer Hebrides), I aim to create a distinct feeling of recognition and being able to walk the shore. I use naturalistic colour – often focussing on reflected light on sea or wet sand and on shadows, and I enjoy adding fine details to rocks and shore. I combine this with invented, often deliberately indistinct details, often leaving something to the imagination. Walking in the mountains, exhilarating views, rapidly changing light, clouds and shadows skimming the tops, are my preoccupations and are approached with a different palette but often similar method.   

Some contrast appears in moodier landscapes with a looser approach, and I often improvise landscapes from those once seen. They tend to have narrower colour range and strong tonal contrast as in an earlier series, “Wind on the high Tops”, that some Spring Fling visitors may remember. Also, recently, another strand of imagined scenes has emerged, inspired by the Scottish isles: not representing particular locations but rather the dominant colours and moods which linger in the memory.  Here, with more minimalistic approach, I try to emphasise their serenity despite their exposure to weather-darkened Atlantic skies. My different strands reflect an equal passion for the light and colours of the Scottish coast and the dramatic mountain heights of Scotland or Cumbria. I enjoy portraying definite places and also conjuring up imagined landscapes that feel familiar or evocative but are not on any map.   

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