My approach to carving

Kindred Spirits is carved in limestone – two interlocking faces in a stylised cubist form. exhibited at the2022 Paisley Art Exhibition

I have been carving for a number of years, having become interested after being introduced to it by RIG Arts in Greenock, Scotland. This was an exciting introduction to relief carving using stone from demolished tenements, tutored by two professional Scottish sculptors; I was hooked and now carve in my garden having all the tools and safety gear; It’s a bit messy but means I can go out and carve when I want to, Scottish weather permitting.

I try to use, when I can, reclaimed stone from buildings in the local area when they are being demolished. These can be a source of sandstone, York stone flags and slate. It is very satisfying to repurpose the stone since it gives some sense of continuity with the past. When I display carvings locally and label the source, many people say ‘Oh I remember that building’ and it triggers memories for them.  I also like carving Honister Green Slate which I obtain when on holiday in the Lake District, Cumbria, England.

I am influenced by Celtic designs and carvings and there are many examples of these in Scotland.  I have painted some of my carvings with acrylic paint sealed wth a waterproof coating since there is evidence that the celtic carvers may have painted theirs.  Painting often adds another dimension to the carvng as well.

I use sandstone, slate and Maltese limestone to carve heads and abstract shapes and designs which are influenced by artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, Hepworth, Giacometti and other abstract artists.  Trying to create the essence of a face or design without too much detail is a big challenge

I am an elected artist member of the Paisley Art Institute and have exhibited and sold my work in local galleries and in Paisley Art Institute (PAI) annual exhibitions and uundetake commissions.

Thanks   Mike