“Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true
success is to labour.”
Robert Louis Stevenson 1881
Without any plan or realisation of where I might be headed, I suppose I took the first step on this artistic
journey almost 50 years ago. In common with almost everyone in my family at that time, that step was to art
college to prepare myself with the tools I would need for the trip. There I would meet, be tutored and
influenced by many who were making their own artistic journeys before me – the big names of Scottish art
including Alberto Morrocco, David McClure and Jack Knox as well as the internationally renowned Pop Artist
Peter Blake (now Sir) who was the visiting tutor at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath in the summer of 1973.
Since then it has been a journey of my own discovery calling at many different ports and learning many new
artistic languages. Necessity has in years past found me working my passage as a portrait painter, a freelance
illustrator, graphic designer and even a photographer. But oil paint and canvas have always been my
travelling companions, comforting touchstones in an increasingly digital world.
As an analogy for the life of an artist a “journey” seems so appropriate but it is a journey with no clear
destination, only the urge to keep moving and find as many interesting stops along the way as possible.
This exhibition is in a year when most people my age would be looking toward retirement but to me my
work still feels like the start of something, that I am heading out again on a new voyage. It is an exhibition
that recalls and records many actual trips, mainly to the sunnier spots of Europe and the Mediterranean,
together with many hours in the studio working with images and souvenirs, with lessons learned using light
and colour, form and subject, distilling an essence to put down on canvas.
So my journey will continue with more places to visit, more images to capture that hopefully inspire an
artistic reaction. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to share my interpretation of these images and
ideas with you as I look forward to the journey ahead.