Warehouse | Free
The work in “Tracing Contours” is a collection of the various landscapes I walked through between June and October 2018, leading up to the exhibition. Walking is central to my art practice; it builds a strong connection with the landscape I’m travelling in, enabling me to feel the energy and atmosphere of a place. I usually walk alone so my whole attention can be devoted to my surroundings and I’ve come to think of the walks as a form of circumambulation. I choose paths that take me around the mountain and through passes, routes that let me see a mountain’s shape from a distance and from various directions. The paintings are a compression of the moments and hours spent there.
I use mainly acrylic inks and watercolour paints, working on old O.S. maps, watercolour paper or wood panels. I take notes, photographs and sketch when I’m out walking and combine them with my memories of the day when painting in my studio. Most of the works made for “Tracing Contours” are painted on maps. I find the dialogue between the washes of paint obscuring or revealing the map results in an intriguing image, drawing the viewer in to look closer at the details. I enjoy the challenge of working with the colour, texture and marks that come with use and age. The maps also bring another connection to the place, perhaps having been carried there by someone and used to navigate many years ago.
I now live in Eskdale in the Lake District but was born and lived most of my life in Scotland. I still head north regularly on painting trips in my camper van, returning to the West Coast and Scottish Islands to paint. I have a BA in Fine Art (2006), and have exhibited work extensively in the UK.