Monday, 18 January 2016

At the Printers

The new catalogue for my solo show 'From City to Sea' is at the printers at the moment, and should be arriving next week.  Very exciting!  Can't wait to see it.

If you'd like a copy, and an invite to the show at Duncan R Miller Fine Arts, St James's, London, then drop me a line with your postal address to

The preview is on Thursday 11th February from 5.30pm.  I'll be there, and it would be great to see you if you're able to come along!

This year, I will have around 35 brand new paintings in the show, with scenes of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Cornwall and London, and I have chosen to explore some very different and contrasting types of landscape – "from city to sea".

Autumn by the Eiffel Tower (Oil on linen, 24 x 26)
Grasses in the Sand, Gulf of Mexico (Oil on linen, 12 x 12)

Those of you familiar with my work will know how much I love painting the sea and the rugged coastlines of Scotland, Cornwall and Northern Ireland.  There’s something very exciting about the wildness of the wind and sea, and about land that has been weathered and buffeted by the elements.   
These landscapes have a real energy and timelessness about them, a beauty and a wild intensity.  So in this show there are once again plenty of paintings of these familiar places, along with the peaceful, broad expanses of beaches around the east coast at North Berwick, and the deserted white and pink sands of Morar.

                                Wide Sweep of the Sand, Camusdarach (Oil on  linen, 26 x 32)

Whilst I enjoy the continuity and familiarity of going back to the same places year after year, I also look wherever I can for new ideas.  I like my shows to read like a story, to have something a little bit unexpected, to be full of surprising contrasts.

So this year I have also explored the landscapes in cities.  I wanted to contrast the ordered, controlled landscapes within the heart of urban areas against the wild, untamed scenery from the very edges of the country.

To that end, I have visited many parks and gardens in a number of cities, exploring the shapes and patterns of man-made landscapes.  I took my cameras to locations such as Kew Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and Hampstead Heath, experiencing the parks at different times of year, especially as the leaves turned towards autumn.   

 Cherry Trees, Kew Gardens (Oil on linen, 12 x 12)

I also made visits to the glasshouses at both Kew and Edinburgh to study the waterlilies. Waterlilies are a theme that I explored many years ago, and it’s a pleasure to return to them afresh.  Here I can juxtapose the calm and intimate close-up experience of their beautiful, logical patterns, with the powerful, exciting, energetically abstract shapes of waves on the shore, or the wide, open expanses of empty beaches or huge skies.

Pink Waterlilies in Sunlight, Kew (Oil on linen, 26 x 32)

A good exhibition should take you on a journey, tell you a story.  My show is therefore the story of a year of travel, of observing, recording, note-taking, and remembering, and it is also a story about what it is to be a Scottish painter.

Do hope you can come to the gallery and see the show!   The exhibition runs until 9th March.

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