the pleasures of looking

the pleasures of looking

We’ve had a long series of gales with heavy rain this last week so it’s all been a bit grey and dark. But last weekend was one of those lustrous soft days we sometimes get here in Orkney in winter, when the low-angled light makes everything luminous. So I am...
Be more Agnes…

Be more Agnes…

If you’ve read my book The Clearing you’ll know I’m a big fan of the artist Agnes Martin. I’ve been thinking about her work and life a lot recently. When the world is falling to bits and it feels ridiculous to spend my time drawing pictures I remind myself of what...
The Artist’s Studio

The Artist’s Studio

This weekend I played host in my studio to a group from the Friends of the RSA who were visiting Orkney for a week. Quite apart from the well-timed need for a spot of tidying up, it was a pleasure to open my space to such an interested, curious, engaged group of...
Studio Tour

Studio Tour

Last year I received the William Littlejohn Award for Innovation in Water-Based Media from the Royal Scottish Academy. Recently, I’ve been busy making new work that will be exhibited as part of this award at the RSA in Edinburgh in September. Since the all the...
Pushing Paper

Pushing Paper

When I was a student at the Slade School of Art we used to make a weekly study visit to the print rooms in the basement of the British Museum. The Museum holds one of the world’s greatest collections of works on paper; about 50,000 drawings and more than...
Writing and Drawing in Conversation

Writing and Drawing in Conversation

Last week I was invited by an old friend, the artist Nina Pope, to join an online Zoom conversation with a long-standing discussion group of artists she has been part of for twenty years. It was a real pleasure to gather with artists who are based all over the...