Sledging in Kelvingrove

The recent ‘Beast from the East’ inclement weather brought the country to a standstill but provided lots of fun from the young ( and young at heart in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park ) . This is a painting trying to catch the fun .

Sledging in the park

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Emergency supplies

During the recent heavy snow many hardships and deprivations were endured by the citizens of Glasgow . Luckily , there were some hardy souls willing to brave the harsh weather to bring sustenance and refreshment to the suffering students of Glasgow’s West -End . I’ve attempted to record one of these selfless acts of bravery here . ( Any sponsorship from Tennent’s gratefully accepted ) .

Emergency Supplies


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I try and doing as much regular drawing from life as I can . This is an experiment in using stripes to define and conceal form . With thanks to Becky for being a very patient model .

Becky in stripes

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Glasgow Girl

This is a common sight throughout Glasgow as the weekend approaches . No point wasting a carrier bag as the bottle will be drained fairly soon .

Friday Night Tipple – Glasgow Girl

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Fotheringham Gallery Exhibition

I currently have a number of paintings on display in the Fotheringham gallery in Bridge of Allan as featured artist for February . This is the catalogue for the show but you can see more details at

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The Male Gaze

I’ve always been intrigued by the notion of artist as voyeur . We artists intently observe the world around us and attempt to represent it in our work . I’ve also been interested since my college days in the way the female form has been used in western art throughout the centuries. There’s been a long history of male artists presenting the female nude for the delectation of the ( usually ) male viewer , often in the form of some myth or Biblical morality tale . Since the Renaissance , numerous bearded elders , randy gods , brave heroes and noble warriors have been depicted , ogling, molesting and assaulting helpless nubile maidens in paintings on the walls of Western grand houses and galleries . An extension of the theme has been the long tradition , continued up to the present day , of the nude, passive , female being observed , coquettish and winsome at her ‘toilet ‘ or in her master’s harem ( or similar ). The common thread of so many of these works is an implied female deference and acceptance of the male gaze .

Now , I’m a heterosexual male and enjoy looking at females as much as the next middle aged codger , but I hope , in my life studies that I portray my female models as believable , vibrant people , who sometimes happen to be naked , not as acquiescent , passive ,’ objects ‘ to be ogled .

In this painting I’ve attempted to explore some of these ruminations . I’ve experimented in it with the notion of the male gaze , by placing a self-portrait centre stage , making myself clearly complicit in any voyeurism , while also doffing my paint-splattered cap to the traditional theme of Venus at her mirror .

A quote exploring notions of nakedness and nudity from the late , great and much lamented John Berger might be a good way to round up my ramblings :

To be naked is to be oneself.
To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognised for oneself.”

The Male gaze – Self-portrait with Sorcha

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University Commission

‘University Steps’ . I usually go out of my way to avoid commissions and am terrible at completing them , but this is the third one I’ve managed to finish in about a month . Probably something of a record for me .I actually completed this one several weeks ago but I don’t like to share the images until the client had seen it first . Well , the painting has been collected and I think it was considered a success … so here it is for everyone else to see

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Oran Mor

‘ Dusk Lights at Oran Mor ‘ . A painting of one of the West-End of Glasgow’s finest drinking establishments and venues , the former Kelvinside Parish Church is now the spectacular and splendidly lit with its own halo , ‘Oran Mor ‘ . I finished this watercolour at the beginning of November but it was painted as a commission so didn’t want to post it here until the clients had seen it . Well , last night they saw , they liked and they took it away, so here it is .

Dusk Lights at Oran Mor

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Boardwalk ?

One of  my favourite building is Wemyss Bay train station and ferry terminal . I’m working on a few paintings of this glorious structure at the moment but this is one I finished a couple of weeks ago . I struggled , as usual with a title but have ended up with , ‘Afternoon Light on the Boardwalk – Wemyss Bay Station ‘ . I was unsure of using the term ,’ boardwalk’ ( a bit of an Americanism perhaps ) but it is made of wooden boards and you do walk on them …… so what the heck ! . It’s painted in acrylic on board

Afternoon Light on the Boardwalk – Wemyss Bay Station

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Commission ?

This painting was painted as a commission but probably serves , more than anything else as a warning against commissioning me to do a painting . It’s a depiction of the client’s house on the Southside of Glasgow and I was first asked to do it in early 2016 .

I should first say that I usually only undertake commissions if the works are very similar to other pieces I’ve done and not too specific . Generally speaking I work on the basis that , if the client doesn’t like the painting , it would work okay alongside my other work anyhow. For this reason I rarely do paintings of specific houses . The customer seemed very keen though , so ,after much prevarication , I cycled out , on a lovely day in the Summer of 2016 to see the house . It had potential as a subject , but I don’t really do sunny paintings so I had to visit again on a wet autumn evening . After many false starts I was on the verge of getting in touch with the client to tell them I really couldn’t do the painting . I’m pretty sure they’d virtually given up hope by this point anyhow , but about two months ago I decided to go for it with one last attempt and managed to get the painting started and finished in a few weeks . This all probably sound quite pathetic , but the way I normally work is to have up to a dozen or more paintings on the go at any one time in my studio . I work on , and complete any piece I feel like working on , as and when I feel like doing so . Some have remained uncompleted for years . Having a specific painting which need finishing at a particular time seems to act as a psychological barrier against finishing it . I’m sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with me , but I subscribe to the late , great Douglas Adams’ view of deadlines . ‘ I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by

Anyhow the very patient customers finally collected the painting last week and were very happy with it . Phew !

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