I have lived and worked on the island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides for over 40 years. At the end of a five mile single track road, I overlook a sea loch and the surrounding moors. There are very few trees. The peat moors give way on the west coast to grassland fringed by shell sand and white beaches.
An empty landscape, but the space is full of movement.
‘what birds plunge through….space reaches from us and constructs the world.’ Rainer Marie Rilke
This flat landscape accentuates the changing lights and often stormy weather. The skies are full of birds. I walk. There are times when the experience is enriched by some remembered phrase or thought. The visual impact is important, and made concrete, recorded through drawing. Responding to the colour and light I use watercolour and pastels, easy to carry and work with balanced on a rock, or sheltered in a sand dune. These are selected and expanded into oil paintings, reflecting again on some literary reference or idea.
MA. a Japanese word roughly translated as ‘gap’ or ‘space’
‘An emptiness full of possibilities, like a promise yet to be fulfilled’
I am fascinated by the surfaces on rock or wood, sometimes encrusted with lichen or carved by man. They are weathered by the elements, recording the passage of time and changing conditions. I study these through detailed drawings and more spontaneous prints.