It is such an incredible opportunity for me to be doing an art exhibition at The Ceilidh Place this year alongside one of my favourite artists, Jan Kilpatrick. I am hugely grateful to The Ceilidh Place and to Jan Kilpatrick for making this happen.
For those who know me as a musician, one of the first questions I always get asked when people discover that I also paint is, have you always been into art? From my earliest memories I have enjoyed making things and drawing at any opportunity. My music has always been inspired by my visual surroundings and the area I have grown up in, Coigach and Assynt, is a fixed creative drive for me. On tour as a musician, there is often a lot of hanging around, waiting in airports and sitting in cars and drawing in my sketchbook is an excellent way to pass the time!
I moved back to Ullapool in 2015 and studied part-time on the Bridgehouse Art Portfolio course and I suppose this was when I realised that I would like to take my painting further. I just loved it! Eleanor White is such an inspirational teacher and she seems to have a real knack for getting the best from students. Before this, I also had an amazing experience on a course I did at Glasgow School of Art with tuition from Scottish painter, Donald Sutherland. Jan Kilpatrick who will be exhibiting alongside me, is a long time family friend. Over the years she has taught me mosaic and textiles and has generally been the most generous and supportive mentor I could ask for. We first collaborated in 2016 when Jan wrote the lyrics to three songs on my ‘Summer Isles’ album. Another person to thank is Calum Macrae at Calm Arts who is a fantastic local framer.
As well as the folk mentioned above who have inspired me, to name some more of my painting heros, right up there would be Joan Eardley, and also Kurt Jackson, David Tress, John Byrne, Will Maclean, Marian Leven, Henry Moore and John Bellany.
This year I have been grabbing any spare moment to get painting and many other areas of my life have been neglected! When you are self employed, it is very difficult to justify certain creative projects, but how would you progress otherwise. There is so much overlap with art and music. I see them as one of the same thing. They are an obsession and the joy always outweighs the struggle in the end!
This exhibition will be called ‘Fabric of the Land’ and will be on show at The Ceilidh Place from 27 August – 4 October 2018. Please do come to Ullapool for a browse. You can preview some of the work on my website here.
Thanks for reading my blog! 🙂