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Week 3: Solo retrospective show Watercolour paintings

The TIG gallery are hosting three one week retrospective exhibtions, to show the development of my art work since 1989 to present. These are being shown during July 2017 in the run up to my latest solo exhibition at the TIG Gallery opening on 1st August until 31st August 2017. This exhibition will show new paintings based on Argyll's secret coast.

The watercolour paintings

I have had years of being tied into research collaborations which was wonderful, but in the small water colour paintings I was able to take the first step and was ready to paint selfishly, just for me in whatever way I wanted to. Like I used to. I took voluntary severance from my lecturing post at Edinburgh College of Art in 2008, I loved working there, loved teaching young art students, however after 23 years of teaching in various art schools, I felt it was my time to work full-time in my studio. I just didn’t want to be tied down to titles for shows and feel I had to produce work yet again, to some theme or very specific idea. I didn’t want to be labelled as the artist who only collaborates with scientists. However exciting challenging and great that opportunity had been, I now recognised that I wanted to be free. Free from having to justify every mark I made, free from the golden cage of the world of grants/awards, that I had been very fortunate to receive.

 I love colour and self expression, I love to explore and push boundaries and do the things I don't know how to do. I guess at heart I am an abstract expressionist. I seek to find my own alphabet of form, my own visual language that allows me to present the human condition as I see it and experience it. The only way I can think of describing the water colour paintings is that they are like imaginary landscapes in my mind.       Sometimes in a grand overwhelming scale that makes me feel so small, but in the same breath, and same painting, there are areas of hidden microscopic detail, that in real life is hidden from my naked eye, that makes me feel so large and clumsy and inadequate. The overwhelming realisation that we have no control over the basic elements of life. There is an organic inside/outside element that runs throughout the paintings, both existing at the same time. I guess I hope to aim for a sense of balance. A magical world that I can create to avoid the reality of the real world. An escape to a place that is safe, joyful and untarnished. I can’t be more specific, I tend to understand my work retrospectively, after the event, not before it.

Personal freedom… to rediscover the sheer joy of paint, of colour of mark making like I did as a child. Free from the awful constraints of “Research”, and fashionable “ART” and the stress that comes from years of Art College expectations of their staff to perform in an International research world. For me this became the kiss of death for my creativity. So now I find my time in my studio exciting & liberating!! I feel like an explorer, everything is new and fresh, I have my language back, now I can play like a child and discover the sheer joy of painting. 

22.07.17 - 29.07.17
playfull colour joy balls cells painting watercolour
playfull colour joy painting watercolour
unknown waters run deep micro organisms sea under-water marine biology watercolo
rain summer day purple cloud gentle watercolour
Forget-me-not flowers colur watercolour joy happy painting
cemetery woods crosses watercolour painting abstract
cool hot summer honeymoon joy happy colour wine France watercolour
blue heart watercolour painting