Welcome to my website; here you will find examples of my art practice which various from illustration to abstract mark-making to the odd crafty experiment. If you like what you see please ‘Like’ on facebook, or follow me on twitter, to keep up to date with my creative endeavours. I also have a small etsy shop which sells affordable items of/featuring my artwork.
This blog post was initially to live here but it became a bit of a beast so I have written it up over on SiltandBone.co.uk. Please follow this link to see my highlights of the DJCAD Degree Show this year :)
Yesterday I popped over to Fife to have a nosey at the grand opening of a new studio space/venture featuring 2 of my friends, and fellow Airt members, Vicky and Caroline. They along with 3 others make up Balbirnie Collective
Their studio space can be found at Balbirnie Craft Centre, in Balbirnie Park. The location is lovely, peaceful and inspiring, and the work space itself is gorgeous. I was a tad jealous, I tell ya! They have painted it up lovely and it feels like it has been theirs for a while – a good atmosphere to have considering they have only just moved it! Lots of workshops, events and what not are planned so keep your eyes peeled for more exciting things from these 5 talented woman!
Last Friday I ventured to Glen Doll with my friend for the Angus Glens Walking Festival. She had been on one of the walks in a previous year so we decided to sign up again. The one chosen started in Glen Doll, followed Jocks Road for a bit, crossed over and down to Bachnagairn and then followed the stream (river?) back towards the Glen Doll car park. A 10 mile circular that includes many interesting features of the area – I can’t wait to get back out there and explore a bit more over the summer.
The day started of with bright sunshine which was great for the stroll up through the forest. it’s such a beautiful area, with so much wildlife. We weren’t far up the path and there was a deer just in front – wonderful. All 3 leaders were fantastic at pointing out the various things they knew regarding the area, the wildlife and in particular the flora. I didn’t realise how many rare things grow in that surrounding area. As is often the way, we don’t appreciate what is on our doorstep!
The walk itself was an interesting test of my (lack of) fitness! Lets just say steep sections are not my friend!! Non-steep sections are however so luckily the majority of the walk was either level, gentle or down ;) Sitting on your backside all day doing artwork does nothing for fitness levels, especially when I’m not the type of person who likes the gym. Overall though I cannot wait to plan my next walk, get out there “researching” for artwork again (who am I kidding I just want to play outdoors!) and also not shying away from steeper gradients – they won’t get easier by avoiding them!
Along with the deer we also spotted Golden Eagles! This was amazing and I will definitely be returning to this spot with my better camera! Such amazing birds. It’s usually Sea Eagles I see out the west so it was nice to see the Golden one for a change.
The only thing I did take bad to in such a walk is not having so much freedom to explore due to time constraints. I’m one for taking hundreds (yes!) photos on walks and usually coming home armed with some rocks, bones and anything else I can fit into my rucksack. Although I did manage 2 pieces of rock that reminded my friend of my paper pulp boulder works so that was a success!
All in all though it is well worth signing up for the festival – it’s great way to explore what the Angus Glens has on offer. The knowledge and encouragement of the leaders was also fantastic and definitely made the walk interesting and enjoyable.
My friend Vicky, and one half of Aval-Ballan, has recently written a blog post about the art she has in her house – Please click here to read it. A lovely idea as I think anyone who is an artist is not only surrounded by their own artwork but the artwork of others. Each piece of artwork no doubt has its own meaning, whether it was purchased or given as a gift – there is either a connection to the work itself (that is why you bought it, after all) or a connection with the person you received it from (whether it be the artist or a friend). I know all the artwork I’m surrounded with means something to me. Not sure how well I’d put that meaning into words – often it’s just a reaction deep within me that makes me want something and that instinct, for me, is hard to find the right words for.
Vicky however has no such problem! Her description of what she sees in my artwork is touching to me and it makes me happy that she understands the core of where my artwork comes from. She owns my watercolour ‘Towards Cairn Conmheall’ - Cairn Conmheall itself being a mountain in the northwest of Scotland, in this case viewed from near Polglass. Vicky says this about my artwork:
“There is a freshness and honesty about her work that sensitively evokes emotion and a sense of both solitude and belonging to the vastness of our environment. This work appears as a fragment of memory to me; the illustrative style infusing it with deliciously indefinable nostalgia. I remember it… or did I dream it?“
“… a sense of both solitude and belonging to the vastness of our environment” describes exactly my reaction to the environment and the landscape that inspires and influences me. For me my inspirations are almost spiritual – all my artwork to do with mountains, landscape, rocks, mark making and archaeology stems from this connection. I don’t wish to go all “hippy” on you all, but when I visit the landscape that inspires me it is like I’ve come home. It feeds me as a person, and that in turn feeds my artwork.
Today we experienced some sunshine. It wasn’t forecast when I looked on Thursday but it normally does shine on the opening night of the Degree Show here in Dundee. So mid afternoon, after I realised it was actually as warm as it looked, I armed myself with my sketchbook and pencils to sit on the back doorstep. The last few days I’ve felt I lost my creative mojo due to varying reasons, mainly travelling up and down the a9 in one day – 6 hours of driving, phew! It certainly hit me the day after. So sunshine was just what I needed, and no pressure on myself for what to draw.
So with that in mind you can see 2 new pencil sketches in the ‘Bird’ album – a headshot of a Kestrel and a Coot (until I add something else you can see the thumbnails over to the right there under recently added –>).
I have also had my first couple of sales on etsy which is rather exciting, one in the UK and one in the USA. I recently added 2 new listings to my shop as well, of hand drawn notelets. I thought they would be nice to offer an actual drawn set of cards, rather than all printed – a mini, affordable piece of art! Or a snail mail item, whichever you prefer ;) So if you like, or know someone who likes, trees or cats please have a nosey. Tree Notelets & Cat Notelets