"My work is varied in style and continually evolving as I explore my preferences in paint application, layering texture and colour.''
I particularly love the freedom of experimenting with different materials and techniques within my work. The interplay of different media is the most exciting part of painting this way.
My practice is deeply connected to my love of colour and the various elements involved in our perceptions of it and how it can influence our emotions and mood.
I‘m a Scottish artist living and working in Aberdeen. My studio is in a room on the upper floor of my house looking out over parkland. As a result, I get a lot of natural light streaming in throughout most of the day.
I'm a graduate of Duncan Of Jordanstone College of Art and have a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design. Like a lot of people, my working life has undergone a number of career changes, starting in Graphic Design, then Scientific Illustrator, moving to International Trade Development and finally, as a full time visual artist.
My design background influences my practice and instinctively my appreciation of design elements seeps into my work as I seek to achieve both harmony and balance.
Collage regularly forms part of my work and I find it helpful when exploring the concept of harmony/disharmony. The challenge of achieving an overall sense of harmony is what keeps me returning to my studio. It's a fine balancing act, ensuring design elements fit together without being dull and uninteresting.
On the other hand, a level of disharmony can be useful and I enjoy playing around with elements of composition, exploring how a mixture of proportions can achieve either a sense of calm or imbalance.
My Process and Inspiration
I work with a variety of mixed media, mainly acrylics but also watercolours, oil pastels and inks. I use bold colours, textures, collage, typography and a variety of marks to produce intricate layers within my work.
Within a painting I love exploring the possibilities of colours and colour relationships, developing the tonal relationships of the main shapes and how they all fit together. Increasingly I try to go in with a colour plan, with the intention of unifying the painting and helping the design work more effectively. A sense of unity that comes from the placement and arrangement of all the visual elements is important to provide that feeling of one-ness to the viewer.
As a painting emerges I almost go on auto pilot, not letting the thinking mind interfere as I build layers of abstract shapes, textures and patterns. Typographical elements are recurring motifs within my work. Each typeface has its own unique characteristics and expressive personality and when it is seen as a form it no longer reads as a letter. This may be because it has been manipulated by distortion, repetition, texture or enlargement. I love how a well combined variety of fonts can create playful, rhythmic patterns in my work.
Humans are visual creatures and one of the most significant elements of visual communication is storytelling. I am particularly interested in the storytelling element of visual images and their ability to entertain, engage and inform an audience, whilst also eliciting emotion. In crafting a story with my visuals, I build a narrative. It makes an impression through its use of colours, texture and typography.
After seeing a Vincent Van Gogh exhibition as a teenager I developed an admiration for artists for whom colour was as much the subject as the subject matter and who used colour as an expressive tool and a compositional element in their work.
Klee's obsession with colour, Cezanne's insistence on coherent design, Van Gogh's stark contrasts and Kandinsky's thoughts on colour symbolism all influence my work. I love that for Rothko, colour evoked emotion and that each of his works is intended to evoke different meanings depending upon the viewer. As I look back on my earlier work I see the influence of Mondrian's simplified elements and colour based compositions and I continue to see that influence in my work which is anchored in shapes, lines and angles.
These influences spark my inspiration, motivate me, and push me to investigate and explore.
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