About me my work
And other ramblings
As a creative person my Portfolio is a way for me to record and show my artistic ideas and finished work. I have an interest in creativity of all kinds, my site reflects this. You will see some of my traditional Art, Photography, Craftworking and fine silver Jewellery Design in the creative sections. I would be happy to hear from you if you if have an interest in anything you see on my site, or perhaps just to say hello as a fellow creative person.
My work has been exhibited and sold in various venues including Rozelle House Ayr, Boswell House Auchinleck, and The Royal Drawing School of Dumfries House where I held a residency three years in succession.
I've also exhibited in online galleries in Los Angeles and created custom and bespoke work for clients in Europe and the US.
My work is constantly evolving. As an Artist I like to experiment with all kinds of creative ideas to see where it leads. For me my creativity isn't all about the finished work, it's about the experience of learning and experimenting while getting there. Finding new creative things that stretch my mind and allow me to be creative in my own way without feeling like I have to conform to constraints. That's the fun part of being creative, the learning process, finding your own limits, and maybe helping others along the way.
I also enjoy tutoring and have worked previously in colleges, schools, prisons and other organisations where art was used as a way to promote inclusion and confidence. People are widely different in both creativity and aptitude so tutoring arts and crafts is always rewarding. My approach to tutoring is to treat everyone as an individual. I don't try and teach as a class but rather find the way that the individual student can express themselves in the way that suits them. It's not important to create something that looks like someone elses work. What's important is the journey they took to find the style and ideas that express themselves creatively and to enjoy the process along the way.
Art is a powerful tool to build confidence, individuality and promote social inclusion.
Creativity is something we all had in childhood but for various reasons it gets lost in a lot of us as we get older. It's always been an important part of my life and who I am. At school I would get into trouble for drawing or doodling instead of paying attention to what was deemed a "more important subject". Being a stubborn type I decided in my last year of school that I had no interest in any other subject but the hands on creative classes. woodwork, metalwork and most importantly the art classes. I was so interested that I even started Art night classes at the school. This however would land me in a bit of trouble with the head master and I was called into his office. He explained it was very unusual for a pupil to want to attend classes after school hours and that he had a problem working out what to charge me for the after hours tutoring. In the end I got the classes free :) That wasn't the end of the trouble though as my English teacher decided that my decision to be in art classes all day at school and dropping out of her class couldn't be tolerated. One day while doing a still life painting practicing for the upcoming higher exams there was a knock at the art class door. A grumpy looking English teacher stood demanding that I return to english classes "right now". My Art teacher to her credit decided that things would be going a little differently that particular day and stepped out into the corridor far a little chin wag with the grumpy purveyor of english :) The door got shut and all I could hear was the ever raising tone of teacher versus teacher as my predicament was discussed. After a short time the door opened and with a smile and a laugh my art teacher informed me that "she won't be bothering you again!" Mission accomplished.
I had a huge amount of respect for my art teacher as a kid before and because of that. She was the kind of teacher that cared about how kids felt as well as how they performed in exams. I left school that year with the qualifications I wanted thanks to her. Before I left she offered me a job with a friends company designing and hand painting china but as it was in the Hebrides I decided I didn't want to move there.
Time went on after leaving school and life went on with it.
38 years passed.
One afternoon while browsing Facebook a message popped up. It was from a woman who worked in a local care home. She asked if it would be ok to introduce someone to me. I had no idea who it was untill she mentioned her name. It was my old teacher. She saw me online and wanted me to visit to say hello. I was really pleased to have the opportunity to talk to her again. We spoke for three hours that day and it was funny to hear her stories about the school and teachers that pupils didn't get to know at the time :)
I made sure that day that she knew how appreciative I was of her time as a teacher, and her influence on me creatively. We kept in touch over the phone for almost a year and we had many a long talk. Then then one day I heard she had passed away.
She left a lasting impression on me and gave me the confidence to be creative. Something I'll always appreciate.
Her name was Miss Kirkland
The best teacher in School. :)