I was introduced to painting by my auntie Maria, whose main interest in life was culture and the arts. When I was a child, she dragged me through the art galleries and museums of Italy and filled me with a passion for art, which, along with my desire to be close to Tuscany, the land of my fathers, eventually inspired me to pick up a brush.
The long summer months of my youth were spent with my Italian friends who had all studied History of Art in a country where every educated person really knew their artistic onions. Living in an area where every small hilltop town contains some priceless artistic gem, we made a real effort to visit as many sites of artistic interest as we could and were thus able to follow the development of painting from the early middle-ages right through to modern times.
I regularly go to my flat in Ponte a Moriano near Lucca solely to paint from where I get an unrivalled choice of subject matter and inspiration.
Born in Glasgow, being Scottish and Glaswegian is an important part of my make up. I can think of no better place to live than the southside of Glasgow, a city with elegant “paintable” suburbs nestled next to ones that are more downbeat.
Much of the Scottish countryside like the Western Highlands, the farmlands of Ayrshire, the hills of Stirlingshire often unappreciated by our population, are world class objects to paint, despite the vagaries of our weather.
As to artistic preferences, I like the work of Giotto and Fra Angelico, impressionists like Manet and Degas and modern painters such as Modigliani and Boldini. Despite my Italian roots, my real artistic heroes are the Scottish Colourists and the Glasgow Boys.
Working mostly in acrylics and oil, I tend to visit, photograph, and sketch my subject and then do the final painting in my small chaotic studio.
Although mostly self-taught, I have done many part time evening courses at the Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow University and have exhibited in quite a number of Glasgow and Scottish venues such as The House of an Art Lover, Scotlandart.com and other galleries.