I am a mixed media artist, working in the areas of costume design, literature illustration, fashion design and illustration. I also work in metal manipulation, printing, needlecrafts, textiles and mixed media artwork.
I began my artistic career working solely in the areas of charcoal and watercolour painting. My artworks focused on predominantly nature and landscapes and particularly trees. I liked the textured patterning of tree bark and the movement of the branches and the roots, while watercolour sunsets and sunrises came through the different hombre tones of the charcoal. The inspiration for these particular artworks came from the artist Constable whose landscapes consisted of many different types of trees in various different landscapes.
My other artistic endeavours have been needlecrafts and paper cutting and were just as a hobbyist crafter. I did not take these endeavours any further until 2014, where I began to sell my hand paper cut creations in frames at craft fairs. I began cutting for clients by following other crafter's patterns, and I subsequently began to create my own patterns at first by hand and then I began to use programmes such as Illustrator.
In 2016 I re-entered into education, where I not only expanded on my current talents and ability, but I began to gain a far wider reach of skills. I learnt how to use Photoshop and Illustrator to a greater extent, sound and video manipulation, textile manipulation, and how to use different kinds of artistic mediums such as inks and acrylics.
During the first years of my educational journey, I illustrated a children’s story that I had personally written for my young children. The book was called "the Ladybird who found her spots", where I found that using multiple mediums you can create a piece of work that can have different tones and textures and can be brought to life. In these illustrations, I used watercolour as a background, and characters, foregrounds, and foliage were hanging cuts from large sheets of paper washed with ink colours, and then each chapter of the story had unusual inclusion such as sand and henna glitter.
Eric Curly and his illustrations inspired illustrations for my books for the very Hungry Caterpillar. The bright colours and primary tones ring his characters to life stop these books are very appealing to children.
I have created many textile pieces over the years, such as a pillbox hat that had hand printed fabric, an appliqué skyline of Glasgow and a wall hanging where the background was created using a technique called Inkodye, which is a fabric dye that is reactive to sunlight, and then I appliquéd tree branches and organza silk paint dyed leaves to it. These projects involve dying to change the appearance of the textiles, therefore creating two very different pieces of work that have two very different purposes.
I took a collection of photographs from the travels I’ve had over the years and combined composition that placed the Wallace Monument at the shoreline of a loch with a sailing boat in the middle. I used this composition in many pieces of my work, such as etching/printing, mixed media artwork and one very large bracket (20 x 23") hand-painted with silk paints and then a hand-stitched piece of work on stretched cotton. This is a very large piece and took a great many days to create.
The latest textile creation is a dress that is completely made using the manipulated crisp packets and embellished with flowers created from drinks cans. This project was a response to a brief called 'Second life'. And my inspiration came from the number of drinks cans and crisp packets (though not particularly a grand amount) my family produced. So, I began to research how I could create a piece of work that would give a second life to this refuge in particular). During this project, I had to involve the community to collect enough crisp packets to make this dress and also a wearable tent that I eventually completed. Because of this, the community of Seafield in West Lothian found that they also realised just how much refuge they were dispensing each week themselves.
The crisp packet is not particularly recyclable these days and is not normally reused. I believe I have found not only a niche in the market but also another way that we could help save the planet and our own personal environments while at the same time creating a piece of camping equipment that may save lives. This is still under investigation at this moment in time.
In 2019, I had the honour of being part of the "Meet the Maker" project and exhibition in connection with Stirling Castle. In this exhibition, I created ½ facemask from moulded buckram fabric that was then hand-painted with inks to look like metal and then hand cut iodized aluminium flowers and then sold them onto the mask. To accompany this mask, I also created some jewellery, which were five rings. Two rings were cast in bronze, and one was gold-plated. One was created with manipulated iodized aluminium that was hand stamped with a unicorn, the animal symbol of Scotland
Work has been exhibited in the following exhibitions-
St Michael's Parish Church, Linlithgow during their "Stations Of The Cross" Exhibition. 2018.
Stirling Castle during their "Meet the Maker" exhibition. 2019
The Tollbooth, Stirling. 2020.
“Forth Valley College’s Creative Industries Annual Showcase” HND Art and Design, 2020.
“Paint My House” Exhibition. 2020.
“Artist spotlight” Exhibition. 2021.
“John Byrne Award”, 2021.
Illustrated Christmas cards for St Michael's Parish Church Linlithgow, Scotland
Artisan Cheesecakes, Edinburgh.