Fine art evoking the spirit of the Western Isle....
I live on the Isle of Lewis, sail the west coast of Scotland, and paint from my own experience. It is a life bound by water and wind and subject to continual change and movement.
In each painting I try to make an image that can evoke an emotion from your own life and memory. Like the weather and the Western Isles nothing is constant … as these paintings evolved from the ones before so the next will be different.
With the birth of Modernism came a split between form and content. Instead of the individual marks that make up an image being organised to give form and meaning to what the artist wished to say, the marks themselves became the subject......in this sense my art is traditional......form and content work together to give meaning.
From as far back as I can as I can remember I have always wanted to be an artist and throughout my life I have lived and worked as one. Submitting my portfolio, I was accepted by Leeds University and after four years of experimental studio work coupled with intensive theoretical study received a BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art.
During the 80's I did figurative work, concentrating on producing positive images of women of all ages and race and their role in society. These series of paintings sold and were published becoming the impetus behind my subsequent sketching and painting travels in Africa. During this period I moved to the Isle of Mull in Scotland also spending time in France, Spain and Ireland to study, paint and teach.
In 1990 I travelled to Africa, sat in the dust of Zanzibar Old Town for several weeks among a large crowd watching me ( this was in the days when you crossed by dhow ) painting the life and people there. In the Serengeti I painted the plains and sketched animals through binoculars, boat builders along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, and the mountains when camped beneath the summit of Mt. Meru.
The early 90's I again journeyed to Europe to paint and teach, being lucky enough during these years to fit in a trip to Indonesia for further study. These periods of study over many years have enabled me to learn different ways of painting and drawing which has freed me from becoming bound to any one particular way of seeing and depicting the subject so that, hopefully, it is always new and different to the viewer. A bonus of this for me is that a number of buyers are always adding to their collections of my work.
The mid 90's saw a move to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, a starkly beautiful island where the sea and the wind are a major part of life born by the quiet strength and forthrightness of the islanders. Here I learnt to sail, how to build and maintain a boat and finally how to live aboard for months at a time so that now, when I do a marine painting, I actually know how it feels to claw your way upwind against a foul tide in a force six.
During these times aboard ( for my paints and pad are always with me ) I began signing my pictures 'Vega' out of respect for the boat that carried me safely for hundreds of miles on my journeys.
In each painting I try to make an image that can evoke an experience, idea or emotion from your own life and memory, for once they are finished they are no longer about me, but how they allow your feeling and imagination free play. You are the arbiters. The images will speak differently to each of you......and I will have failed as an artist if they require a written explanation in order to be enjoyed.