Usually I try and keep the focus here on my classes - which are of course incredibly important to me! But I’m also a practicing artist, and I know many of you are curious about both my art, and the life of an artist. So, in this blog, I’m going to tell you a little bit about my work, and what inspires it.
While I was studying product and furniture design at Edinburgh Art College I was captivated by the ways in which an artist can capture light, and decided to try and repeat it within my own work as naturally as possible.
To do this, I built a circular frame lined with gold to capture the light. Later on, I was sketching a bluebird - having always loved birds as subjects - and I mounted this sketch in the frame, and from there a whole collection was born!
Each piece in this collection is a pastel drawing surrounded with golden leaf, encased in a handcrafted black or white lacquered gold-lined frame. I make the frames myself in the studio, because as an artist I see each part of the piece as a part of my work, making it important for me to take ownership of each element.
For me, the circle symbolises the sacred nature of life and the spark of divinity that exists in each of us - even in the smallest of creatures such as the sparrows and the blue tits. And by capturing this in a way that emphasises light and nature, I’m reinforcing these ideas with the framing.
This sense of the organic, and finding divinity in the everyday is also a theme throughout the drawings themselves. To do this, many artists would opt for a realistic style, but I decided on a different approach, something I see as being more of a ‘visual prayer’.
The image of the animal itself is often simplistic, natural, and flawed - as far from iconography as you can get. But, haloed by natural light, the ordinary can become extraordinary. This to me, reflects how we truly see the world, when a small moment takes on a much larger meaning through our perception of it. After all, how many of us have found immense joy in something as simple and natural as a sunset!
Throughout my career I have exhibited my work at international art fairs - including exhibitions in New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Dubai, and Germany.
Even throughout Lockdown my art has still been on display at a number of exhibitions and galleries, which has been really amazing for me, especially knowing that my work can still reach people in difficult times. And, much to my pleasant surprise, my work has even been finding buyers! Something that’s brought me both personal comfort and security in these difficult times.