Artist's Statement & Other Notes
When observing and sketching a landscape sometimes I sense, not only the colours and contours of a piece of land, but a glint of the first folk who walked on it.
Working mainly in the medium of oil, I pay particular attention to the preparation of my painting surface. Board is textured with fine silk threads and Orkney wool, as well as sand and coal-shards from the Ayrshire coast, before several layers of acrylic gesso are applied.
The application of silver, gold and copper leaf represents the glimmering of these first farmers. Folk who not only shaped a landscape, but also ourselves.
Even after 5000 years, the entrance passage of the chambered cairn demands a long, muddy, crawl before an undignified belly-slither into the stone womb of the main chamber. Pitch black, hairs at the back of my neck prickle as my eyes adjust and begin to see the still-beautiful masonry and corbelled roof.
Then, centuries dissolve in bright silver and gold, and let me see: people like me, still tending and nurturing their beloved dead.
From 'Sunset Song'
'...you'd waken with the peewits crying across the hills, deep and deep, crying in the heart of you and the smell of the earth in your face, almost you'd cry for that, the beauty of it and the sweetness of the Scottish land and skies.'
Lewis Grassic Gibbon