exhibiting at: Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Robertson Room, Murdoch’s Lone, Alloway, Ayr KA7 4PQ
Some of my paintings have a vintage ‘feel’,
The Artists bio
For more than twenty years, I worked as a successful sculptor, mainly in wood, carving all kinds of pieces from hardwood rocking horses to huge outdoor sculptures made to commission. I even made an intricately carved guitar. When arthritis made my large, heavy trademark carvings increasingly difficult, I began to focus mainly on unusual and colourful ‘folk art’ works in acrylics although I still undertake the occasional small woodcarving project.
Coming from a sculptural background I find that I enjoy experimenting with figures interacting in both rural and urban settings. Some of my paintings have a vintage ‘feel’, while others are wholly contemporary. Some involve a myriad of figures: children playing, boat builders at work, post war street scenes inspired by my own childhood in Liverpool, ‘tattie howkers’ harvesting potatoes on an Ayrshire farm. I work on vivid landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes and I like to explore traditional occupations such as fishing and farming. I worked as a trawler skipper in my youth and then as a commercial yacht skipper, so boats and people working on and with boats often figure in my paintings. But as an artist who specialised in carvings of horses for many years, I’ve also worked on a series of pictures illustrating Robert Burns’s epic poem, Tam o’ Shanter, with his ‘grey mare Meg’.
My work has been variously described in terms of Lowry, Fred Yates, Grandma Moses and even Breugel. It has also been characterised as a cross between folk and Indian art, although it has qualities of outsider art. I’m obviously hard to pin down in any conventional way. It would be true to say that many of my paintings have a magical and quirky quality, full of life and movement – but most of all I love to work in vivid, life-affirming colours and to people familiar landscapes, reinventing them for the viewer.
Much of my work is available in print form, while a number of original artworks are available for purchase. I also produce greetings cards from some of my pictures. New for 2017 I will be working on hand painted paperweights, and will be producing a small range of teatowels from my original work.