A recent collagraph I've been working on after spending many happy hours watching the cormorants and gannets diving off Waternish Point on Skye earlier this year. This is a working proof yet to be editioned but I think its just about ready to go. I really love those rich, velvety blacks full of texture which collagraph can achieve.

And some fresh inspiration from a recent trip into the Cairngorms just in time for the first serious snowfall of the year. The walk up was eerily misty but once in the bowl of the corrie it suddenly began to lift, revealing spectacular black rocky outcrops and snow filled gullies.

Postcards from Cuba

I have been working on some small pieces based on my Cuba sketchbooks, just playing with a few images and trying out different ways of applying some spots of colour or collage. The postcard size format seems particularly fitting for these "disposable" pieces which are not so much about a finished product but the journey to realise an idea. My actual postcards sent from Cuba went on a bit of a journey themselves - who knows where to - but they arrived back in the UK a mere 6 months after being posted!

Sequential Works

Narrative and the creation of series of works is something that has interested me for a long time, to see a picture in context with its companions. I think in many respects it harks back to my love of sketchbooks and how precious these are to me as a visual timeline of places visited and ideas noted down. There is also something very personal and intimate about sketchbooks and artists books which are not necessarily created with the aim of public display. Like exploring a new place the book reveals its contents slowly with a fresh discovery at every turn. It is something I hope to explore more over the next year or so, especially in relation to the Cuba sketchbooks.

This piece 'A Walk Along the Naver' was completed after my residency in Sutherland, incorporating chine colle, collagraph, embossing, Japanese woodcut and painting. It was exhibited with a selection of small objects by sculptor Trevor Gordon at Dundee Contemporary Arts during the Impact 8 International Print Festival

The making of a print...

I regularly work with a variety of printmaking techniques, one of my favourites being collagraph. This was a plate based on some sketches gathered out and about around Sutherland... and a wee look at the process that goes into each print:

The prepared block ready to be inked up...

Ink is applied with a spatula in a layer across the whole surface...

Then wiped back until just a thin coating remains, trapped in the textural surface of the block...

The block is laid on the press with a sheet of dampened paper on top, tissue paper and thick wool blankets...

It is then wound through...

And at the other side its time to carefully peel back the paper and see how the image has printed...

The print is complete and will be stacked between tissue paper and weighted boards for a few days to dry.

A Walk in the Hebrides

This collagraph was made as part of a series based on a walk along the west coast of the Isle of Lewis, observing the changing colours and light from early morning through until the late midsummer dusk.

A Khanderao Sketchbook

Recently I've been experimenting with a variety of printmaking techniques with the aim of conveying all the scraps of information I collect during the process of working on location. This piece is predominantly collagraph and based on a vegetable market in Gujarat, India. Finding a quiet spot to settle down and draw among the hustle and bustle wasn't easy but the setting in a quadrangle bazaar with canopies strung overhead, deeply shaded passageways, mounds of glistening produce and the constant movement and voices of customers, sellers and porters was captivating.........and there was always a hot cup of chai close at hand!

The Moine

During one of my drawing trips around Sutherland while working as artist in residence with the Strathnaver Museum I stopped to make a quick sketch of this ruined cottage beyond the loch. Moine House was once a travellers resting place on the expanse of peat bog which lies between Tongue and Laid. With a strong breeze clouds were moving quickly and the loch was alternately steely grey and dazzlingly bright.

The Moine: Collagraph print on silk