As many of you may know, last month, I was involved in the North East Open Studios.
During the week, I was asked to take part in a Q&A with the Press and Journal and discuss my ongoing involvement with NEOS. I've put together a blog for anyone who may have missed last month's article and is interested in finding out more about my journey as an artist, feel free to have a read.
Where are you from?
I was born and grew up in Dundee. I didn't move up to the North East until 1989.
What medium do you work in?
I mostly work with acrylics and also some collage.
Do you exhibit often?
Yes, my work is always on show somewhere.
Where do you exhibit?
These days I tend to exhibit with a small group of galleries, mostly people who have become friends over the years.
When I was building my career I was showing in up to 30 to 40 galleries, all over the UK including several London galleries and also in Paris, New York, Seattle, Munich, Dublin and I even had prints for sale in Baghdad!
Where is your studio/where do you work?
My studio is now at my home on the Ury Estate in Stonehaven.
How long have you been an artist?
Hopefully I have always been an artist, but it has been my full-time exclusive career since 2001.
Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Yes, I had a poem published in the school magazine when I was in my first year at secondary school and the first line read 'I wish I was a painter, a Raphael or Holbein...' and finished 'I would sign myself, Francesco de Boagi'
Have you done any training?
I attended Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, during the sixties...my main claim to fame being I booked Pink Floyd for our Christmas Revels.
In 1999 I managed to obtain a sabbatical from teaching and studied at Grays for an M A.
Have you done any other jobs?
Yes, mostly teaching - I was Head of Art and Design at Aberdeen Grammar School from 1989 until 2001. It was then that I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life to give up teaching and pursue a career as an artist.
What inspires you?
I have often considered that question and have reached the conclusion that because the world is such a beautiful place, especially as you get older, as long as I walk around with my eyes open I will never be short of inspiration.
Why did you decide to take part in NEOS?
I decided early on in the year that I was going to make NEOS my big exhibition of 2016.
How many years have you been doing NEOS?
I think I did my first NEOS in 2008.
What do you want to achieve from NEOS?
What I've always wanted to achieve from my paintings, I want lots of people to visit and everyone to enjoy my work. I may be wrong but I would imagine almost all the artists taking part in NEOS are looking for the same thing.
What do you want people who look at your work to come away thinking?
I want them to go away thinking 'I really enjoyed that and I'm glad I took the time to visit'.