Originally from Liverpool, I moved to Scotland in 1998. After gaining a BA Hons in scientific and natural history illustration I moved to Aberdeen. It is wonderful to spend so much time outdoors in the Scottish countryside observing the local wildlife.
"It is a privileged moment when you see an animal in it's natural habitat and I love to reproduce it for others to enjoy".
My aim is to produce creative and informative wildlife compositions. Watercolour, gouache and pencil are my preferred media, since they allow me to produce the fine detail which is characteristic of my work.
I exhibit locally along Royal Deeside and also show in the UK. As a lover of detail I found my style of painting lent itself to the art of miniature painting. To create a beautiful jewel sized piece of work that does not exceed 4" x 6" creates a very particular set of challenges. The patience and dedication required to undertake this work has a very calming influence on me. I exhibit internationally as well as locally with my miniature paintings and have works in several private collections including the famous Sue Lee collection.
I am a member and have been exhibiting with the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers (RMS) at the Mall Galleries in London for over 15 years, where I gained my full membership in the shortest time possible of 5 years. I have received many awards for my miniature wildlife watercolours including the Anita Emmerich Prize and the Presidents Special Commendation award at the RMS, 1st prize at the 'Small in Nature' Exhibition in Canada, an Honourable Mention and Prizes from Parklane Gallery in Washington USA and several awards from MASF the Miniature Society in Florida. I won the ‘Gold Citation Award’ for Superb quality and accuracy of depicting the species, titled ‘Cowslip Connoisseurs’, at the The Wildlife Art Society International (TWASI) in Gloucestershire, June 2021.
Outdoor activities play a big part in my painting career. I enjoy Munro walking (peaks over 3000ft) along with cycling and snowboarding. These sports give me great inspiration and a sense of achievement, and inevitably contribute ideas for my next pieces. I also take walks in my local area where I sketch and photograph the seasonal wildlife. This spontaneous way of working suits me as I never quite know what my next composition will be until it jumps out at me, or I stumble over it!
I also exhibit larger wildlife works. These can be found in exhibitions such as TWASI, Art Aboyne, Art Fairs, North East Open Studios (NEOS) and (EWA) Exhibition of Wildlife Art . These compositions are generally built up in 'layers'. I tend to sketch onto tracing paper so I can then move the individual subjects around until I am happy with the end result. I then bring all the elements together and produce a final layout. As I enjoy painting gradated washes for the backgrounds, I have to mask out all the foreground subjects first. This is a labour intensive process but it creates a fantastic area to paint the background wash without overlaying any colour over the masked foreground subjects. When the wash is dry, the masked area is peeled off to leave a white space to work on. This process is repeated several times as I move forward through the composition, so I use the best quality archival papers such as Arches Hot Press and Fabriano. These will handle the many layers of masking fluid and heavy watered washes.
When you see a piece of my work whether it be a large watercolour or a miniature, there will always be a story behind how the piece developed. I love talking about the creative process behind my work - if you want to hear more about a particular piece please get in touch!