Born and brought up at Roshven, Lochailort in the West Highlands of Scotland, I had a wonderful free childhood in an environment which inspired my creativity and which has had a lasting impact on me.
Growing up without television or mains electricity and being part of a large family, I filled my time either exploring the rugged land around us or drawing it- when not helping around the farm!
I was always fascinated by the formation of our land, its nuances, it's interaction with light and the effects that weather and season had on it. I revelled in being immersed in and surrounded by nothing other than the natural forms and sounds of the highland wilderness. And still today, to 'escape' back to the west highlands brings new life into my very soul.
My family had lived at Roshven for 150 years, initially being bought by my great great grandparents in the mid 1800's.
Jemima Blackburn ( Wedderburn), my great great grandmother was a significant inspiration on me to become an artist - she was a hugely respected watercolourist of the 1800's, depicting family life and stunning highland landscapes as well as incredible animal and ornithological studies. Her published works 'Birds and Beasts of the Bible', and 'Birds from Moidart' are unique and timeless.
A shock to the system followed when I went to the 'big city' of Dundee to study at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art ( 1984 - 1988). From small time country girl to life in the big city at age 17! What a culture shock that was!
Following college I worked for some years in Art Therapy before spending time bringing up my children - no surprises then that my own work suffered considerably whilst I was otherwise distracted!
Since 2010, I have returned to my own work, on a more or less full time basis, discovering that , as the saying goes, "absence makes the heart grow fonder"! and the renewed passion I find for my work knows no bounds!
The work has developed into atmospheric pieces of abstract sea and landscapes, as well as close studies of aspects of our landscape.
"Each piece tends to be tangible, recognisable and yet not quite representational. The work is robust, grounded, in many ways earthy and yet retains a wistfulness that reminds us of the very private nature of introspection. "
Essentially a landscape painter, being influenced by many scottish artists such as Barbara Rae, Will Maclean, Joan Eardley, Bill Cadenhead; as well as Turner, McTaggart, Constable, Peploe, Cadell and many others. My long time friend and fellow artist Rob Fairley has also been an ongoing inspiration and it is thanks to his encouragement all those years ago that I went to Art School in the first instance!
My work is primarily inspired by the rugged West Highlands as there is simply no other place in the world which evokes the same response in my work.
Now based in Aberdeenshire, I find the gentler east coast landscapes evoke a somewhat different approach and mood to my work.
Still my work tends to lean towards the dramatic west coast, I find myself back there on a regular basis for inspiration, even though my family have mostly left the area.