What is the relevance of a landscape painter in our 21st century world?
With a passion for drawing as well as a deep sense of belonging in the landscape of wild places, it is inevitable that I am a landscape painter. Both are deep seated and lifelong, stemming from the knowledge and affection for this particular part of the west coast of Scotland.
"When I say gesture, my gesture, I mean what my mark is....'Gesture' must appear out of necessity not habit. I don’t start with a color order but find the color as I go. I’d rather risk an ugly surprise than rely on things I know I can do." Helen Frankenthaler
“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in,” John Muir
I live on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula and have spent the last ten years working towards a language to describe the power of wild places and how it resonates emotionally. This dialogue between inside experience and external observation has led me to evolve a practice in which I am trying to “feel’ the subject rather than render it. Working predominantly outside, I realise there is territory between the representation of our visual world and the way we understand it on an emotional level. The question becomes, how does each mark contribute to the experience without being specific, remaining a hint, suggestion or indication. It is a process of submission and involves giving in to the place, trying to work from the inside out. Building on these investigations I hope to portray some of the intrigue that so affects me in living in this natural environment. Drawing is the perfect tool for investigations of this sort. With no defined destination, it is a medium that can enable you to travel lightly in any direction.
There is a mesmerising fascination with the edge, where the land meets the sea and where two natural forces meet, especially at the western edge of such an enormous landmass as Europe. The Edge is a good place to be if you are interested in pushing that experience and challenging the dialogue.