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studio. Scotland

My studio practice is mechanical. My process is calculated. I systematically work on one layer in one sitting, irrespective of scale as I want consistency. Despite my effort to control the process, physics and the movement of the human body are variable. So many factors dictate tonal uniformity that once I start, I can't rest. To do so for more than a few minutes destroys continuity and the image is split into visually obvious, unwanted sections: factors such as how the paint is mixed and laid on, a humid or dry atmosphere, the rhythm of my gesture, the speed of my movement; if I’m aggressive or gentle, if I use heavy or light pressure, how I stand, the angle of my arm.


Contemplation, reflection, and analysis are critical components of the process. To slow down and give room for this I have a swing. The rhythm is calming. The sound of the creaking rope against timber rafters is hypnotic. I roll up a piece of paper as one would roll a cigarette and remember, as a child, watching my granda Wilson rolling and smoking his. I use the ritual, as he did, to withdraw from disturbances, to think.

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