About Me

William on location with thermal trousers, body warmer, thermal fingerless gloves, hat and wellies!

I live and work year-round in Ardvasar in the south of the Isle of Skye, looking out over the Sound of Sleat. It is the light and atmosphere over the Sound and the wonderfully enigmatic Knoydart peninsula opposite on the mainland that provide my inspiration. 

As a committed plein air painter, I work directly in front of the subject, in all weathers, times of day and year. My work is freely painted, mostly with a painting knife and any additional work is kept to a minimum.

Selection and interpretation when working in front of the subject continues a long tradition in Scottish art. I particularly like the Iona studies of the Scottish Colourists, McTaggart's waves and John Houston's Bass Rock paintings. Houston's influence extended beyond my time in Edinburgh - his Harris paintings done in the late 1970's are beautifully atmospheric and were shown at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Skye's Gaelic College in 1978. I was thus thrilled to have work on show in the College in 2010.

Influences are important in artistic direction and are definitely more important to me than passing fashions.  My aim is to identify what it is about a subject that drives me to paint and then to simplify the work. I love the subtle colour in our northern palette and aim to extract and enhance this without losing the subtlety.  I also try to capture a sense of time and place. People who know my work tell me that it elicits an emotional response, particularly in the interpretation of light. If I succeed in conveying that emotion, I am on the right track. 

I have listed my exhibition record on a separate page and at the foot of that page are some education notes.

I have work in several significant collections of Scottish art but my best review came from Alfred Wainwright who bought a painting of Blaven in the 1970's - " It's a belter". It doesn't get any better than that!