I was born and went to school in Dundee. Early influences include my mother’s love of sewing, fabric and embroidery alongside eastern and oriental design – the result of relatives working in India and bringing home textiles, ceramics, carpets, etc. A a child I found these things to be fascinating and exotic. Coupled with a very early love of drawing and making things these interests led to a lifelong desire to be involved in art. Years, indeed decades later, I still find these influences to be one of the most prevalent themes within my work. Looking at fabrics, their patterns, colour and textures are a source of great pleasure to me and the memory of a particular design can suddenly appear in my head, often acting as the spur to new work or the solution to an unfinished painting.
When I was at Art College I studied painting and ceramics. An initial interest in Japanese ceramics led to more in-depth investigation of the philosophies behind Japanese design – how they impact on all aspects of life from architecture, to cookery, to clothing, housing, interior design and gardens. I find that my own working and living preferences reflect this interest in a quiet and meditative atmosphere and this supports and sustains my artistic endeavours. The paintings come directly from the opportunity to “live inside my own head” and to generally avoid crowds and noise, not always possible or desirable, of course!