Eleven Artists Biography and Statements
I studied English Literature and Language at University before working in publishing in Edinburgh and London. I’m drawn to art for similar reasons that I love books: escapism, imagination and a shared connection. I’ve always been creative, and that has manifested itself in many different ways throughout my life. I find the process of creating something beautiful, or something which will capture a spark of shared connection, deeply satisfying.
I’m in my fourth and final year at Leith School of Art. As my children are growing up, I’m able to give more time to painting in my studio, where I am often to be found with my dog Harley by my side.
My work explores the relationship between landscape and memory, mountainous horizons and emotion. With influences as diverse as Joan Eardley, Victoria Crowe and Robert Kushner, I love the creative exploration of complex, contrasting and often conflicting layers and textures. I paint instinctively and freely, predominantly using acrylic paint on canvas, sometimes with the addition of gold leaf or collage from old maps.
The series I'm currently working on is called "Mountainscape" and can be seen at the Borders Art Fair in Kelso from 15th-17th March 2024.
My interest in Art started when my daughter attended Art School. Before applying to Art School, we followed the Scottish degree show circuit. This created the family's interest in Art, which involved frequent gallery visits and starting our own Art Collection. It was only leading up to retirement from a career in Financial Services four years ago that I decided to give painting a go. After enrolling in several evening and weekend workshops, I applied to the Leith School of Art Edinburgh (LSA) painting course. I have developed my own practice after learning about an artist's tool kit at LSA over the last three years.
My work bursts with vibrant, exuberant hues and an invigorating tempo. As a contemporary abstract still-life painter, I build upon my work in this area, delving into the realms of colour and everyday ceramic forms. With a touch of nostalgia, it incorporates fragments from my personal history and journeys. Matisse's influence can be seen through my fluid paint application and expressive use of line, while David Hockney's talent for crafting patterns also inspires me. My primary source of research for my current work lies in Botanics and Ceramics.
I live in the Scottish Borders which provides unlimited inspiration for observing the natural world and all it contains, from light and shade to wide landscapes and tiny flowers.
Following retirement from Social Work, I was able to rekindle my love if art through an ongoing education at Leith School of Art, and enjoy all the experiences this provides.
I enjoy working in mixed media as well as oils, relishing the unpredictability and opportunities these present.
Like the natural world itself, nothing is fixed in how it can be interpreted and in the emotions within us that it evokes.
I'm drawn to artists like Joan Eardley and Anne Redpath, trailblazing still, as well as many contemporary artists using all kinds of media, mining our exploration of our individual experiences.
Transplanted from the US, I now live in Fife. After marketing the City of Edinburgh for international conferences, I co-founded Wild at Art, offering art experiences for visitors to Scotland. This was the hook that pulled me into developing my own art work. I’ve had no prior art training and my four years in Leith School of Art courses has been critical in developing my skills. My creative energy comes from immersion in the stunning Scottish countryside. I use textures, a variety of materials and mark making to convey an intimate relationship with the landscape.
John Muir remarked, ‘When I heard the storm I made haste to join it; for in storms nature has always something extra fine to show us…’
And the Scottish landscape always has something extra fine to show us.
In layered landscape paintings, I aim to provoke passion for the natural world: to show what is, what once was, and explore where we go from here. En plein air mark-making in ink, watercolour, and pencil are the basis for my studio work in oil or mixed media, using palette knife, rag, brush and fingers.
I live in Edinburgh. I love nature and spending time with my dogs and horses. I have a background in drawing and printmaking. I trained and worked as a paper conservator.
I have always had a passion for ceramics. Working with earth, fire and water.
Hand building ceramics has allowed me to work from home. I find the repetitive process mindful and soothing; with the joy of having a piece that I can use daily.
I wanted to paint and draw these objects that I had formed by hand. I have used simple colour palettes and tools to explore light and form.
My work is informed by Japanese and African ceramics, Lucie Rie, Bernard Leach, Richard Diebenkorn and Giorgio Morandi.
After moving to Edinburgh, I took up Munro Bagging in my retirement which with a pursuit of competence in art through the Leith School of Art resulted in creating a series of paintings from eye watering and picturesque views. Working from photographs that locate the subject I attempt to convey some of the emotions experienced: achievement, wonder, ecstasy, fear and loneliness. All are influenced by the weather, terrain, remoteness and one’s state of mind. My work fairly representational moving towards abstraction should convey better the experiences felt and hopefully shared.
Although I became a Munro Compleator (spelling is correct) last year, painting mountains has continued with other mountain scenes. Much of my work has been done in oils but recently I have discovered that watercolours can provide vibrancy and interest especially on hand made rag papers. Creating these images takes me back into the mountains and are a reminder of our beautiful world.
Biography & Statement
Originally from Bristol, my home has been in Drumclog, S. Lanarkshire, for many years, where we moved to have plenty of space and countryside around us. I did an art degree on leaving school, and later had a job which took me outside to look at the landscape. I’ve taken art courses over the years, and have really enjoyed them.
My inspiration for painting comes from the familiar scenes and plant material near at hand, which has limitless textures and shapes to explore, and the colours and light that change so fast.
I live in Edinburgh, the city of the low winter sun and long shadows. My background is in nursing and I am forever drawn to what it means to be human: capturing the intangible and the awe; trying to hook the gossamer threads that link us all to each other, objects and place.
My art practice at present is an exploration of Constructivism. Painting in acrylic and oil and using collage in both my finished work and as an aid to visualise the fragmented image, to investigate the negative space and the single and double line .
My work so far is deeply personal to me referencing Edinburgh buildings which have a family connection, Nana’s lifetime of diaries and Mum’s chiropody instruments and case. Revealing the extraordinary within the ordinary. As Sabahattin Ali articulates perfectly in his book Madonna in a Fur Coat “… a dash of curiosity is all it takes to stumble upon treasures never expected.”
The artists acting as my influence just now are Marlowe Moss and El Lissitzky along with Agnes Martin who is calling out to me - she is for the future!
Over a decade ago, having had no formal art training, I went to a life drawing class and was hooked! There followed many years of juggling my growing creativity and art practice with existing responsibilities and commitments until, finally, in 2019 I headed to Bridge House Art in Ullapool for a four-month Portfolio Course. This was a life-changer for me! Since then, I have moved to Edinburgh, built a studio in my garden and given myself permission to focus on the development of my art practice, including a painting course at Leith School of Art and time to actually go in my studio and paint!
I work hard not to get distracted by all the exciting possibilities that different mediums, techniques and subject matters present – I want to go deeper rather than broader! When in Ullapool, I became fascinated by seaweed, in particular the ‘still lifes’ that the sea arranges on the shore and the colours and forms of the seaweed itself. This has now expanded to include other natural forms (leaves, flowers, rocks) and I’m exploring the ways that acrylic paint can represent - but also embody - my response.
Biography & Statement
Making space for painting in my life has been a long process. I began in 1965 by studying Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art, changed to History of Art in 1968, graduating in 1970. Only able to continue making art by carrying a sketch book around for the next decade, it was at Hertfordshire College of Art and Design (1982-3), training as an art therapist, that I was able to pick up the threads of interrupted creativity. Since retiring from working in a community mental health project, I have focussed on making art, looking for my creative centre of gravity.
My sketch books from sixty years back to now, feature landscapes drawn from studies made of places where I have lived or to which I have a strong connection. “The Broken Lock Gates” and “The Gate into the Field” are based on sketches made in the place where I grew up – Merseyside. The original drawings date from 1966 -70, and have stayed dormant until the last 2 years, waiting to be turned into paintings.
I consider that we see landscape through the meanings we project upon it. We make relationships with places and form connections through what has happened to us there, and through how we live in those places. “St Giles under a Cloud” is a familiar landmark; painting reflects changes of light and weather, reflecting the passage of time. Nature is not separate from us – we are in the natural world and part of it. “The Tree and Window” collage reflects this entwined and interpenetrated relationship.
For me, the environment I live in and make art about, is something shaped and marked by time, and by the human beings who have lived there. Landscape is about time; to make a drawing or a painting is to fix a passing moment in an image.
Originally from Lancashire I have lived in Edinburgh for 50 years.
On retirement from a career in Medicine in 2013 I started painting and drawing. Initially I attended a summer school beginners’ class at Leith School of Art and subsequently a variety of further classes at the school.
I have been attending the one day a week yearlong painting course at Leith School of Art over the past 2 years. I paint mainly in oils and enjoy painting trees at different stages of their fascinating lives. I recently expanded my interest into landscape and the natural world.
I combine my interest in photography with my artistic practice and use photographs that I have taken while travelling, as well as at home, to inspire my paintings.
I like to experiment with colour and gain inspiration from the varied range of Victoria Crowe, Andrew Gifford, Georgia O’Keefe and Claude Monet.
I came late to painting after a busy professional career. I split my time between Aberdeen and Edinburgh. I love spending time outside, in my garden, hiking and touring on skis, taking a small sketchbook and hoping to capture some memories of the day.
Gray’s School of Art and Leith School of Art have taught me, inspired me and continue to influence my practice.
I go outside and spend time in the mountains, forests and beside rivers with pencils pastel or watercolour.
Later I reflect, revise, and recycle the ideas and materials in my studio.
I try to keep a connection with the outside world but make the work different and my own.
A sort of magic can occur when my careful observation mixes with memories of a place. Unexpected interactions between layered surfaces, oil paint and medium, then time and a bit of luck all contribute to my process.