This is a page devoted to the work which was done during my leisure hours between the years 1947 and 1963.
I painted this Spanish scene from an old B/W photograph in 1953. I hated it so much that I started to wipe it out with turps only to discover that I was left with the mood which I had been trying to create in the first place.
This painting of a fisherman was done while on holiday in Arran in 1954. He was a nice man, a man intent on baiting his lines without even lifting his head while, answering my questions. If only I had thought to ask his name, the painting could have had a personalised title.
This portrait in 1956 of my wife to be was done by candle light as I had read that Leonardo da Vinci liked to paint his portraits this way for a more lustrous effect. In my case, it made no difference whatsoever except that my father, in the same room, didn't take too kindly to reading his newspaper in near darkness, but suffered for art's sake.
Another portrait, painted mainly on the street outside 49 Craigmillar Road, Glasgow is of my daughter Linsey then aged four. This picture is purely of sentimental value but I felt it should be seen if only to prove once and for all that portraiture is something which I would prefer to leave to others more gifted in this department. However I was quite happy with the scumbled treatment of the streetscape in the background.
During a two weeks stay in Dunoon in 1959, the weather was the worst we had ever experienced on our summer holidays. I hope the painting conveys the sombre mood which I was trying to capture between the downpours.
I have a particular fondness for this drawing because it exudes a confidence and fluency which I would dearly like to recapture in my present work.
In 1960, We spent a Holiday in Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae on the Firth of Clyde. I did a lot of watercolours which were sold except this one. It was an experiment in ink of the little house we rented and I decided it was too precious to sell so here it is after 50 years gathering dust. I really must have it framed one of these days.
I had a felt tip pen made by Grumbacher, and it was called a Flo-master. The whole barrel could be filled with special fast drying and permanent Flo-master ink that could give you a ' high ' and I loved it. Obviously someone with a keen sense of smell loved it too and one day, sadly it disappeared. As you can see from this painting of Eymouth, it's broad felt tip was used to great effect.
I painted this watercolour of Bowmore, on the Isle of Islay in1961 and it is shown here along with the original entry label (inset) to the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in The Mclellan Galleries. It may interest you to know that the cows used to wander freely in and out of the church at the top of the hill. One of my smaller paintings of Dunoon sold that year and I am so glad that this one didn't - It was probably too expensive at twelve guineas ( artists work was only priced in guineas in those days).
Peat Bogs, the title of this oil painting, was my first foray into the cubist style. I painted it when we returned from Islay on the wide stair well outside our flat on the top floor of the tenement where we lived. The communal landing had a wonderful skylight spanning the whole width between the two top floor flats. It was was my ideal studio.
This is a quick sketch of a William McBrayne steamer. I had to work at high speed to capture this little beauty on her way past.