prints book
From the moment that I became a first year student at the age of 17, at Edinburgh College of Art, I sought out the printmaking department deep in the basement and became entranced with the whole magical process of creating multiple images. The alchemy of the laborious processes added to the attraction. At that time I learned about stone lithography and screen printing using the highly toxic cellulose inks.

I continued to divide my time between painting and printmaking throughout my College career. I was an enthusiastic but messy printer so many prints were torn up or "reconstructed" to form collage images integrated into paintings. I continued to make prints after I left College in the just established Peacock Print Studio in Aberdeen

On moving south to teach in Glasgow School of Art, I worked in the print department of the Art School and at Glasgow Print Studio. The open access print studios in Scotland provide a focal point for young artists giving them a chance to work in the same space as experienced renowned artist/ printmakers like Philip Reeves and learn so much from them.

The most important development in both my printmaking and painting career was when I was invited to work in Santa Fe. New Mexico, for a few months. There the intensity and clarity of the light changed the way that I used colour in my paintings as well as changing from oil paint, which I disliked, to highly pigmented American acrylics. I met and worked with a master printer, Ron Pokrasso, and there I experimented with their method of making monotypes by applying ink to perspex plates and printing them in multi layers on an etching press.

I continued doing monotypes in Glasgow Print Studio, but now, I use my own etching press and print alone so if I make a mistake it is entirely my fault!

I enjoy the excitement of working with different master printers and learn so much from their varied ways of producing such amazing and magical results from a piece of etched metal or from a silk screen. Unlike the solitary act of painting in the studio, printmaking can be gregarious and the printmakers on the whole are very generous in sharing their ideas, personal techniques and secrets.For all of that and what it has meant to the development of my work, I thank them.