Chris studied at Grays School of Art, Aberdeen from 1980-84 graduating with a B.A. (Hons) Fine Art. Many artists have inspired Chris but none more so than his parents who were both artists. Growing up in a house surrounded by art felt like the most natural thing to do. Chris has shown his work in many solo and group exhibitions throughout Scotland and England, mainly in London. He also shows his work regularly at the RSW, RSA and Aberdeen Artists exhibitions. His work is held in many Public and Private Collections at home and abroad. In 1998, Chris was awarded The Glasgow Arts Club Fellowship prize at the RSW Exhibition at the RSA in Edinburgh and in the same year, at the Scottish Artists and Artist Craftsman annual exhibition, he received the Russell Flint Trust Award. In 1999 he was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW). He was also awarded the McManus Galleries, Arts and Heritage prize at the RSW's annual exhibition 2003, and in 2017 The Walter Scott Award, RSW Annual Exhibition.
Known in the past for his Mediterranean landscapes, Chris first began painting the west coast of Scotland about five years ago. Motivated purely by the fact that Chris and his family started going over to the islands regularly three or four times a year. Having never visited them before Chris was inspired by the light, atmosphere and the feeling of remoteness.
The landscape that interests Chris most is pristine and primeval where weather and nature dominate. Which is why the islands appeal so much, they feel so far removed from urban life, on the edge of civilisation. At most times of the day Chris will find a painting but late afternoon and early evening light is when he can really capture the west coast at its best.Back in his studio Chris works in oil from a mixture of sketches, watercolours and photographs. The paint is applied in a variety of ways; hands, sticks, card, palette knives and a range of brushes. The oil has a beauty in its texture and quality of surface; it is washed on, overlaid and scraped back. The push and pull of the material is fundamental to the working method and the use of oil paint is as important for its malleable qualities as for its ability to hold saturated pigment. When asked if he is planning to return to the west coast of Scotland, his reply is ... "Many, many times. I love it".
The Strathearn Gallery | 32 West High Street | Crieff | Perthshire | PH7 4DL