Hi, I am a Scottish artist living up in the hills in the Scottish Borders. I trained at the Glasgow School of Art in Drawing and Painting but as can be seen I have moved over to doing a lot more illustration, some of which is digital – if I’m honest, partly out of sheer impatience and laziness. I will eventually get some oils done again but in the meantime I will be doing some quicker, fun work that has significantly less drying time.
I’m not keen on using the word ‘artist’ to describe myself because of its connotations – but it saves a lot of time and confusion and a long-winded explanation of any ‘craft’ alternative. But the truth is I am only interested in the craft. I admire other ‘artists’ who have mastered a craft, whether that be in oils, digital illustration, writing, music or whatever.
Part of the fun of art and illustration is trying new things and just generally playing around and having a laugh. In fact, if I am not allowing at least part of the time to learn new things and take chances then I know that something is wrong.
I enjoy illustration using traditional media but I am also at home using tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter. It depends upon whatever is most fitting. In other words, the medium is not the message.
The main purpose of this site is of course to show my work and explain the process and where it all comes from. Ideas can come from all sorts of places and that is the nice thing about including references from music, film and other sources – this is where the inspiration really comes from.
I am also keen to look at the work of other creative people and their ‘departure points’ and references – their ‘modus operandi,’ as one of my painting tutors at college liked to call it. (He also asked if I had a ‘modus vivendi’ but I told him I didn’t have an Italian car.) Lots of artists and illustrators are interesting people and their working process can be surprising and fascinating – not to mention that most work extremely hard, contrary to a popular misconception.
It’s my intention to have a site that is more like a kind of sketchbook than a polished showcase. Being too precious and conservative can be the kiss of death to creativity so I’d rather err on the other side and push the boundaries a bit and do some silly throw-away stuff as often this is where progress takes place.
I have always had a kind of dread of ‘cheese and wine’ if you know what I mean, and I suspect a lot of artists and illustrators feel the same way. The gallery system is particularly tough for painters as they have to get beyond the ‘gatekeepers’ in the gallery system. Thankfully, this is one way to bypass all of that. (Feel free to have cheese and wine while you look around – I don’t want to put you off!)
As you’ll see I like to work with a variety of techniques, depending upon the idea and how I’m feeling at the time. So the work should be varied.