Moving artist’s studio

In August this year I moved artist's studio within the same building – WASPS Studios, West Park Place, Edinburgh. I had been in my previous studio for twenty three years! That is a long time to be in an artist's studio. My years there had been marked by a lot of hard...

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La Fête Champêtre

This series of paintings takes its inspiration from the theme of la Fête Champêtre – a pastoral festival, or picnic in the park. Eighteenth century French artist Antoine Watteau reflected on this theme, depicting men and women in elegant...

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Roman fresco course in Sardinia

Last month I spent a week at Bosa Art School in Sardinia with Carey Mortimer. We are both ridiculously interested in the Roman fresco technique and decided to get together to develop a Roman fresco course to be launched next year in Bosa. The...

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Remembered Rooms

I have painted a series of rooms remembered from my childhood – I lived in four different houses, each with a particular character which still invades my dreams. The paintings started out from a spark of memory, but soon developed into parallel places - rooms of the...

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Wall fresco part 3

Day three and four of painting and everything went to plan. I was starting to feel like real fresco painter, except for the fact I didn’t have assistants (or even slaves, as the Romans did).   As I went on, I found I could tackle larger areas, so decided to finish in...

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Wall fresco part two

I decided to divide my fresco design into six giornate (painting days) as fresco has to be painted onto a damp plaster- and it dries quite quickly. I had already done a drawing of my garden and a quick colour sketch with egg tempera on gessoed paper, to get a feel for...

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Wall fresco part one

Having made dozens of portable frescoes on panels, I thought it was high time I tackled an actual wall. Fresco is, after all, a mural technique. Brick is the best and my studio building is made of brick. Unfortunately, it means working outside, which is not the best...

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Broken but not Beaten

I had just put the finishing touches onto my fresco self portrait. As the plaster had already dried, I used secco (pigment and casein binder) to correct a few offending features and to add a tasteful floral cardigan. I was pleased with the result. It would be just the...

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Rome, Naples and Pompeii

. Last winter, I- a Scottish fresco painter, and Carey Mortimer- an English fresco painter, made a trip to Rome, Naples and Pompeii with the intention of examining Roman wall paintings. We are both fascinated by the fine polished technique of this particular era of...

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Visual Poem

I write poetry from time to time. In many ways it is similar to painting: imagery develops through experimentation; taking bits out and adding new bits is crucial; form and rhythm create dynamic; the desire to have a final outcome that surprises me is what keeps me...

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