Most of the paintings I'm showing on this site are my first attempts at abstraction. I graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1992, which at the time staked it's reputation as being one of the few or last schools turning out figuration. I tried it myself for a while but didn't have the maturity or discipline or talent to deal with the complicated polemic I was dreaming up. I was also beginning to feel that most of the paintings I saw around me, my own included, were better ideas than paintings and I suspected were admired more for their moral intentions than their quality. I was certainly lost, and had and still have a tendency to follow others' leads in style and genre. In the last year, mostly to have fun for a change, I shelved my oils and brushes and opted for hard edge, naive, and brightly coloured, acrylic paintings. I was awarded a second class degree, probably because my paintings weren't painterly, but I admit the paintings suffered from poor use of colour and composition - due to my young wilful determination to force the idea and laziness in preparation. I also instinctively gravitated and developed a friendship with a mature student, Tom Devlin, who was exploring abstract painting. At the beginning of 93, this friend, partly for economic reasons, persuaded me to throw my lot in to a shared studio near Trongate in Glasgow. Here, I learned a great deal from my colleague - to free up my imagination, to allow accident and spontaneity, to organise my palette and consider the quality of the paint, some of which I'm still too lazy to do properly but are still useful to know.
The paintings on show here are abstract in so far as they don't literally depict anything, but there was still a need for me to think in terms of sky and ground, near or far, one suggested form in front or behind another. In short, the illusion of spatiality although a primitive one. Most of the paintings' names relate to some figurative impression or fantasy but are all after thoughts suggested by the finished work. The works themselves began with few or no objectives - the results were intuitive. My direction in the course of a painting were usually influenced by what had gone before - some paintings worked from the start, others are the result of 6 or 7 failures. All paintings were attempts to learn something new.