It was on childhood holidays with my family that I ﬁrst came to Scotland. As a child it was a place of freedom. I remember the awe as the land crumpled up into endless mountains and wilderness. We would stay in remote cottages far from home in Hampshire. It was an exciting place to explore. I learnt to read maps, make campﬁres, catch and cook ﬁsh, climb what were 'mountains' to us then and, most importantly appreciate natural beauty.
Forward on a couple of decades and I found myself needing a change. I had spent a long time studying art and then even longer pushing it to the side while I did 'proper' jobs. In 2009 I handed my notice in, loaded the car with camping equipment, canvasses, paints and paintbrushes and headed north with no particular aim except to climb Ben Nevis. As I climbed out of Tyndrum onto Rannoch Moor and the landscape opened up something clicked in me and I felt at home. 10 years on from then I still get that feeling when I am returning to Skye to my studio, my gallery and my life as an artist. My studio and gallery are on a little island, in a little village, up a little lane to a little house where I live happily with my wife, two children and our lazy dog. If you're ever passing, please pop in, say hello and visit the gallery.
Unique paintings celebrating the local landscape.
I work predominantly in oils as I have a real afﬁnity to the ﬂuid nature of the paint and the ability to keep making changes. I suppose it reﬂects my own irresolution and that of the weather. I always travel with a camera, sketchbook or notepad and begin by making sketches or simple notations about views, scenes, the way the light affects the landscape and the dynamism of the day.
Once in the studio work starts right away. On the ﬂexible surface of the canvas, the painting will take twists and turns on its way to completion. My work considers the beauty of the natural world. I ﬁnd I am increasingly inﬂuenced by the speed with which life passes and this energy is used to capture those ﬂeeting moments and put them onto canvas or print. There is an element of futility in trying to represent that which is so wonderful, be it a meadow of wildﬂowers or the sheer scale of a mountain, but that serves only to drive me on and ﬁnd new ways to try to do justice to my subject matter.
Bold, vibrant contemporary poster art featuring iconic landscapes.
My father taught me to map read at a young age and I have always been fascinated with Ordnance Survey maps, mountain heights, trig points and terrain. As part of an trip to the Rhineland while at university we went to an exhibition of propaganda posters from the 1930s. I was struck by the bold nature and colours used. Years later, on one of my ﬁrst visits to Skye I began to develop what would become a staple of my art; this mountain poster collection. The UK (and world) has many iconic mountains so this is a work in progress. I take commissions for any peaks which are not featured - just get in touch.
I would like to thank Elaine Ferguson Photography for her assistance in photographing my paintings.