'Beam East Coast Series No2', 2016, Pastel on paper 90cm x 158cm
I identify myself principally as a draughtsman; drawing being the most unencumbered and immediate form of image-making. My work is made with an intense and energetic immediacy, working instinctively rather than methodically, keeping me physically and emotionally involved in the process. I crush soft pastel in my hands rubbing the dust into the paper in wide sweeps of colour gradually manipulating the material to build up a thick layered surface using the ball of my thumb or the heal of my hand.
I am interested in and influenced by the dramatic imagery of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century painting. I admire the idea of the contemplation of landscape in the Romantic spirit, found in the work of the German Romantics like Casper David Frederick and the notion of the grandeur of the landscape as expressed in the work of the American Subliminal Painters like Sanford Robinson Gifford and Frederic Edwin Church. These artists adopted the term ‘Luminism’, defined as light in the landscape and the effect that light has on the landscape and objects within it.
As a contemporary artist choosing to adopt this approach to light in the landscape, my interest is not to make straight forward topographical images that are illustrations of place. Instead I am attempting to make imagery that is descriptive of the circumstances under which the subject is viewed; images which convey a sense of place. The drawings are emotional reactions to events and experiences evolving in front of me; events happening or about to happen. The images become like fading memories or captured moments in time. The making of the work is in itself a set of actions and events which creates a harmony between my process and my interpretation of the subject.
The Society of Scottish Artists is an artist-led organisation with over 1000 members from across Scotland and beyond.