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exhibiting at:  Rozelle House, Monument Road, Ayr KA7 4NQ

Sandra Ratcliffe

Email: sand@fynesand.plus.com

Web: http://www.fynesand.plus.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SandraRatcliffeArt

Phone: 07767 257 236

Address: Rozelle House, Alloway, Ayr

I am inspired by the power of nature

The Artists bio

I am an artist based in Ayr on the West Coast of Scotland, the inspiration for all of my landscape and seascape works.
Born on the Island of Bute, I grew up with the beauty of the scenery around out home.
My early interest in art began when meeting Bute artists on beaches and shores where they stood with easels and brushes capturing the vistas. At school, Rothesay Academy, I loved art and creating work ranging from figurative art, still life and textile design. There was no dedicated art gallery on the island in those days, so to come across a painting by a local artist in a shop, of a view I knew well, was a delight. I remember saving up to buy a little painting hanging in a local decorators’. It was of the sea pounding a rocky part of Bute’s coastline…and it was almost prophetic that this would be a subject I would eventually love to paint years later! Local artist the late J. Stirling Gillespie was probably my first influence. His island landscapes were widely collected.
Following a lengthy career in Scottish journalism, 18 years ago I returned to my early love…and started to paint for the first time since school teen years. I enjoyed having a little cottage on beautiful Loch Fyne and there were many artists around there…many came to paint outside on our shore, including Jolomo ( John Lowrie Morrison) and the late John Cunningham. I loved John Cunnigham’s colour. He saw the true light and colour around the West Coast and capitalised on it, which others weren’t so brave. When someone once looked at one of his paintings and commented ‘But it looks like the Greek islands…’ I pointed out that the Scottish West Coast often has the wonderful colour of Mediterranean coastal villages!
Just go up around the Hebrides…Lewis, Harris, and the Western Isles, as far south as Gigha and all those colours are there, from the vast white beaches to turquoise and ultramarine seas.
I was influenced by The Scottish Colourists and Joan Eardley. It was fascinating to discover that George L. Hunter, one of the Colourists, was born on Bute!
I entered Glasgow School of Art for various courses in oil, water colour, still life and collage over three years. I have exhibited widely over the years, with solo exhibitions in Spain, Scotland and recently Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. I have had two solo exhibitions at The Gigha Gallery, on the Isle of Gigha where I love to paint every summer. I shared an exhibition this year, too, with two other Ayrshire artists Gillian Park and Bridget Hunter.
I am a member of Ayr Sketch Club. And have regularly exhibited at Ayr’s Rozelle House and Maclaurin Gallery, including two exhibitions at Rozelle over the Open Studios Weekend Ayrshire.
My work is mostly Coastal and seascape. I have always been drawn to the sea and the power of nature. It is a wonderful challenge to try to capture its beauty on canvas. I now live overlooking the island of Arran and every day is an inspiration from the huge winter storms to wonderful sunsets at many different times of year.
I am an expressionist in style. I love to interpret the scene in front of me the way I see it in colour and form…a combination of all those influences in my life. Turner’s powerful works have always inspired me.
His Fingal’s Cave is one of the great paintings of British Art which still leaves me feeling emotional.
I am currently studying Emil Nolde’s works and love the looseness of his water colours and the power of his oils…And his amazing use of colour.
Every canvas is a challenge. I work in a mixture of acrylic or watercolour…with some pastel work.
But above everything it is getting close to nature that is my true inspiration, working at my studio in my Ayr home from sketches and photos or, weather permitting, working outside enjoying the wonderful elements of the Scottish West Coast!