Sunday, 3 June 2018

New Exhibition-Contemporary Borders


I along with another  five Borders based artists am taking part in new exhibition titled Contemporary Borders. Although our work is very different to each other, collectively we  share one thing in common and that is our engagement with landscape as subject matter whether directly observed or distilled into  a more abstracted representation of it.

Some of the artists I have met and know their work and some I have not, so I am looking forward to meeting everyone and seeing how our work hangs in the lovely Christopher Boyd Gallery within Old Gala House.

The private view is Friday 8th of June, 6.30-8.30pm. Please come along if you can, a warm welcome awaits.

The show then runs from the 9th until the 12th of August. Opening times are Mon-Sat 10-4pm and Sun 1-4pm.


Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Open studio May Bank Holiday w/k

The 1st of May and the weather feels out of sync but in Scotland we comment but seem resigned to these unseasonable temperatures. Small sacrifices for the beauty that surrounds us here in the Borders?!

I'm gearing up for the coming w/k of  art@ancrum an annual event I am kindly invited to take part in and having my studio and home slap bang in the middle of 'little lovely', the village of Ancrum it makes perfect sense.

I've enjoyed the Winter  and Spring  months in the studio, working steadily exploring and developing work in response to the ever changing landscape surrounding us.

The ploughed fields reveal their hidden colours at this time of year and appear reddish pink, sometimes a muted umber depending on the light, time of day and direction in which viewed. This simple thing has enthused my dog walking and commute to work, no end in the last few weeks.

The subtle growth and somewhat raucous dawn chorus enriches each day should you care to notice.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Borders Art Fair this w/k!

Margaux and Blue  100x100cm Oil on Canvas
I am looking forward to taking part in the Borders Art Fair this weekend. This year I am joining other artists and showing in a larger stand with the White Fox Gallery in collaboration with the wonderful owners, Virginie and Stephen. 

Believe it or not, Margaux and Blue started it's life as a painting referencing the Cheviot Hills and the livestock that inhabit them, mainly sheep. As I began working further on the painting, my pathway veered wildly off course and all that remains of my original idea and subject matter is a reference to the sheep folds situated throughout the hills.

Additional and continuing formal concerns for me are to do with the horizon, a pictorial device I frequently make use of in my work. 
In Margaux and Blue I have unburdened myself (to some degree) of this  and in doing so am feeling quite liberated.... Who would of guessed that a single line, a division of a flat surface could cause so much angst!

If you are in the Borders this coming w/k the Fair looks like it is shaping up to be a great event. Please come and say hello, stand 41.

Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, 24 March 2017

New work

It has been a while...I have been working  over the winter on a  new series of paintings (about 20 or so) for an upcoming exhibition titled Purlieu which opens on March 30th.

Being incapacitated as I was with my recent ankle operation and subsequent recovery period I was literally tied to the studio...I had little excuse not to work and as it was it kept me going for the 3.5 months that I was unable to walk unaided.

The paintings for Purlieu reference  places I know and frequent, some literally on my doorstep and others further afield.

 They are in no sense literal in terms of the actual topography of the land or environment of these places......they are intended to be more of a representation of a memory or semblance of place.

I have had tremendous fun working on these paintings and have enjoyed the virtually uninterrupted time I have had to work on them.  The exhibition is hosted by LiveBorders and is on at Coldstream Museum, 12 Market Street, Coldstream TD12.

I have to admit there is something quite quirky and a little surreal to be exhibiting alongside the permanent display in the museum which relates to the Coldstream Guards! 

Purlieu runs from 30th march -4th June 2017

Open: Mon-Sat 9.30am-12.30pm,.1.00-4.00pm & Sundays 2.00-4.00pm. 

The private view is on the evening of the 30th from 7.00-8.30pm. All welcome!

NT 6297 2505   1  100x100cm Oil on Canvas

NT 6297 2505   2  100x100cm Oil on Canvas
  Groundswell  40x40cm Oil on Canvas

Saturday, 26 March 2016

On Reflection

This week our Level 2 students were invited to join a number of other artists and students from Edinburgh and Sunderland for part of  a three day creative residency at The Haining  , Selkirk to work on ideas surrounding 'Reflections' and glass as a medium.

The idea seemed to me to be very much about responding to the location and creating very experimental almost ethereal 'art' works.The artists taking part ranged from sound artists, to sculptors, glass artists and everything in between. The university students came from courses in architecture and glass.

It was a very enjoyable day and we were  fortunate that the weather was so sunny. 
Our students form Borders College are just starting out on their creative lives and this opportunity  certainly placed them outside of what they usually associate with creativity and making important and useful learning curve!

What is so very good about events like this one, apart form meeting new people and discussing ideas is the provision of time and the 'permission' to explore, experiment and respond in the knowledge that what is important is, that  it will be alright...out of small kernels of ideas come more resolved things that will grow and travel hopefully or not? 

Experimentation is key, and the idea of impermanence is central to this way of working......most of the work made during the artists time at The Haining will exist through documentation and memory. I only managed to see part of what everyone else was doing but no problem there as a selection of work made on the residency will form part of Reflections an exhibition of contemporary glass, at The Haining, Selkirk from 20th of April -8th of May.

 I took a series of photographs on the day idea was a simple one and centered around the notion of how to disrupt or intervene with the environment around me through using some reflective materials in the process.

 A simple but  interesting thing to do!
I have been thinking about what I could do with these images and one idea would be to have them printed onto( Japanese) tissue paper, set them on the water surface and watch them dissolve...maybe I will.

Thanks to Niall Campbell and Inge Paneels for arranging our visit.

Thursday, 31 December 2015


This post is dedicated to (you) Debi 'O Hehir,  my much loved sister who sadly passed away on October the 1st this year.

In this life it's good to have and make plans.....but not to the exclusion  of living. "Life is what happens to you while  you're busy making other plans", this quote often attributed to John Lennon sums this sentiment  up pretty  well.

I had many plans for 2015, many of them were more intention than plan, but made none the less. Many of them simply didn't materialise......I'm wary of plans!

One of the many plans I had was to chart, mark, punctuate, record or whatever the passage of time through monthly blog posts....needless to say I only managed two.

 So in light of this I want to end 2015 with a series  of images and some captions for each.

Wishing all family, friends, acquaintances and pooches near and far a healthy,  happy and creative New Year :)
Go Gillean go, lovely to watch our boy start proper leading this sumer, well done Gillean xx

This is what keeps him going

Green the colour of growth and renewal

Happy days,rare family self portrait after one of our multi pitch climbs this summer in the Lakes

Debi, Miles and David photographing the finished sculpture, great and cherished memories from my w/k in TGC in May 2015

One of our walks, close to home
Owl sniffing it up in the Cuillins, the first Jackapoo to scale the Bhabheinn -Clach Glas ridge?!

Two minutes in the grand room/hall ? at the TGC, beautiful light

John doing his stuff in the Lakes, summer 2015

After Debi's beloved dog, Wilco died, the garden became a haven for wild animals....they were a great comfort to her in her final few weeks on this earth.

July rushes by
Deb working on her last big sculpture at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in May 2015

Ruberslaw and Fatlips in the distance
Beautiful rainbow on our way up to Blabheinn and Clach Glas
That rainbow , again
Unfurling ferns
Rock puddle, Hepburn last week
December skyes-from back Bowden, Northumberland
Back Bowden