I am an Edinburgh based figurative artist
working predominantly with charcoal and pastel
on paper. Originally from Matlock in Derbyshire, I studied Three Dimensional Design at Manchester Metropolitan University, then I moved to Scotland in 1994 to pursue my art career. My drawings
is inspired by ancient trees, their history and the influence that humans, animals and natural processes have in shaping them: in the way they provide a solid representation of time. It explores their three dimensional forms, investigating their capacity to regenerate, survive and adapt. However, the drawings have been referred to as ‘life drawing from trees’ and I am often unintentionally influenced by the human body, leading the viewer to wonder if they are looking at wood or flesh. My work has a strong emphasis on drawings made in the field, done mostly in the winter and early spring months and often over many visits. These enable me to connect with a tree in its setting, getting a 360° perspective. I then use these sketches, along with photographs and historical research, to inform the studio pieces. I love using charcoal on paper as it enables me to express both subtlety and dramatic contrast with great flexibility. There's also something poetic about depicting living wood with its carbonised self. When I visit old trees I am moved by their powerful presence and try to convey this emotional response through the sensual use of my materials. My aim is to make work which also moves the viewer and communicates the depth of my experience.