On every walk in our local park, I stop to reflect on the colours and lines of the trees and sky. It drives my wife crazy, and telling her that I’m painting doesn’t help! But I can’t stop myself thinking of how everything I see in nature could be put on canvas. I’m always mixing colours in my mind’s eye.

Along the track

I’ve spent considerable time in the Orkney islands and Aberdeenshire, which is reflected in much of my work. But on a day-to-day basis, London’s parks continue to provide inspiration.

I have no preference between landscape or portraiture. Both are about telling a story: creating a narrative through colour and line fascinates me in either form.

Dear brother

Some clients have told me that my pieces remind them of places in their childhood, even when the subject of the piece is at a different end of the country. It’s the feeling they’ve got from the piece – the same feeling they had as a child. I love evoking such memories.

Walberswick cow field

Pieces can take me two hours or two months. It depends on how much is needed to convey the voice or feeling behind the person or the scene. Sometimes, a piece needs detail, every scrap of moss or stone depicted. Others need boldness and simplicity to let the subject breathe.

I work plein air when I’m alone in remote parts of Scotland, but I sometimes struggle to do so in London. Curious passers-by can be distracting even when their remarks are kind. I also work from photographs – of course, they’re different from working directly with the subject, but they can tell their own story, capturing a particular expression, a feeling in the moment, that might never be seen in a sitting. I’ve done portraits of people and animals from photos where the likeness and sense of the subject on canvas have delighted the customer.

Sauchen oat fields
Birsay Rocks

I started my artistic life as a sculptor but soon moved to oil painting and now cannot imagine life without paint-stained fingers.

I’ve been a member of Richmond Society of Arts for more than three years.

Website: rue.uk
Instagram: @rue.artist
Twitter: @rathgar
Facebook: @rue.artist


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