Tell us a bit about your work and how it all started?
My studies began back at the Edinburgh College of Art which was an amazing experience and after my first year there, I had no doubts that I would specialise in painting.
I immediately connected with the freedom of using paint and the diverse way it can be used. My time studying there in the big beautiful studios facing the out on to Edinburgh castle were so memorable and a great launch into the creative world.
I have always been hugely influenced by landscape. I grew up on a farm in the quiet Scottish Borders where the outdoors was where I spent all my time. My passion for the great outdoors is deeply engrained in me and despite being based in a city it has not left me. From exploring new green spaces, to catching an early morning sunrise or travelling further afield to take in new landscapes / horizons, I am always soaking up my surroundings to gain inspiration.
My practice begins by mixing my oils until I’m ready to sweep the colour boldly across the surface. At the moment I am using wooden boards which creates a smooth flowing surface that helps keep the movement of the piece. Getting a clean colour is vital. The initial mark colour needs to strike a reaction or a feeling which sparks the rest of the work.
Tell us about Otter and how he came into your life?
Otter is a 2 year old miniature Dachshund who was a surprise gift for my 30th birthday. The best possible surprise!
At the time I was spending my birthday in Scotland where we met some family friends in the morning and to my surprise they handed me a tiny bundle of joy. Otter. Well, he was initially nameless and after a lot of endless thinking I couldn’t get over his resemblance to an Otter, so Otter it was!
How does having a dog fit into your general working day?
Otter is the ideal Studio dog for me. He is a fantastic sleeper which works well as the days can be long at times. His knack for knowing exactly when I need a distraction, or a sneaky cuddle is on point.
When you're not working where do you like to head out with the dog?
If we want a nice walk near home, our favourite haunt is to head to Bishops Park which takes us to the river so we can watch the boats pass by. Otter loves being near the water to keep an eye on all the goings on.
If we have more time we love heading to a bigger space like Bushy park where we can roam for miles amongst the huge forests and spot some of the deer hinge in the bracken.
What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk and what do you carry these in?
Now that the autumn is setting in, we both need coats on. Otter is not a fan of the rain, so the key is to get his coat on and then he’s up for it! Lets not forget key essentials of poo bags, a few treats and his Mutts and Hounds leather lead.
What adventures do you have planned with the dog for later this year?
We are hopefully heading back up to Scotland for Christmas so there will be lots of big walks in the highlands. For a small dog he can go for miles and loves taking in the Scottish air and causing mischief in the great outdoors.