The Scottish Borders where I lived for over forty years were a constant inspiration whatever the season. Now living on the edge between Edinburgh and the Pentland Hills the view from the studio is different but also a challenge, different shapes, more sky but still the ever changing seasons and light. Frequent visits to Catalonia, south west France and the north of Spain, always stimulate many of the senses and encourage the sketch book to jump into action in a vineyard, olive grove or the brilliant blue Mediterranean.
The sketchbooks give me the information for the 'start' of a painting and from one sketch can come several paintings or from several sketches only one painting. The translation from sketch to painting allows for experimentation and development with colour, line and form which can lead to an element of risk or edge to creep in thus eliminating some of the often irrelevant information contained in an 'on the spot' sketch.
To embark on a days painting with a large sheet of paper, bristling brushes and good light, is always an exciting prospect if not a slightly apprehensive one as the end result could end up in the bin or with luck, in a frame. The 'don't know' element 'the sleeping surprise' (as Robin Philipson called it) is always there, the trick is to recognise it.
Educated James Gillespie and Buroughmuir Edinburgh.
1966 - 70 Edinburgh College of Art - Studied Ceramics and Glass Design
1970 - 71 Postgraduate Scholarship in Ceramics, Travelling Scholarship to Italy
1971 - 72 Moray House college of education and part-time teaching
1973 - 86 Lecturer in Ceramics, Glasgow School of Art
1986 Full-time Potter and Painter
2000 Full-time Painter
2000 Elected member of Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (R.S.W.) 2007 'Artist in Residence', with James Morrison RSA, Collioure, France
2015 Sir William Gillies Award - RSW Annual Exhibition
2017 Glasgow Art Club Award - RSW Annual Exhibition