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The extraordinary act of life

July 21, 2015


Sometimes I feel haunted by my past and the fact that I chose to live a modest life as an artist instead of an out there life, I had the chances but I always walked away from glory possibilities.  I walked away because I wanted to be grounded by sincerity and truth, because I wanted to feel real and at ease with who I am and what I did, no bullshit, no pretence, just the real me. I was always so shy that I had to build a life with which I could launch myself into the world and I did this through art, my art defined me and I hid behind it, if it hadn’t been for my art I would probably have become a bit of a recluse. But instead I built up my self-esteem through my sculpture and became pretty proficient at it.

When I reflect on where I am now, I always look back to the murder of my sister Wendy when I was twenty-nine and just completing my first major commission (the first equestrian statue to be commissioned in Edinburgh for seventy years). That devastating blow which filled me with anger and confusion caused by the brutal act of an idiot, severed my life in an instant. I could never return to that age of innocence having been exposed to the stark reality of death. I was determined to get on with my life and not let it pollute my art but I was naive because it did and I was never able to live without the burden of hate and the realisation of death, in one sense I became more interested in survival as I lost all my ambition. The experience had blunted me and the chaotic mess of my life was almost impossible to piece together.  The sudden death of my other sister Amanda ten years later, only piled on the agony and proved too much for my mother Maisie to bear and she subsequently died of a broken heart. It was hard to live with so much grief but above all I was never able to cope with my mothers suffering, to this day I’m haunted by the pain she felt and at the time it was almost unbearable.


I still can’t make sense of my life and I fight not to be a victim of circumstance but it’s a hard battle for me, though my tenacity and determination have returned and this time nothing will stand in my way, because I have some art trapped within which needs to be brought into this world. I had reached the point a few years ago where my life was ebbing away into meaninglessness, instead of working away on my art in the evenings I would drink wine and lament on my losses which in a way was pitiful. So one day I decided not to drink at all and get my whole life back, by facing up to my entire lifes experience no matter how painful it was, facing up to my own failings too. And so over these last few years I’ve fought tooth and nail to reclaim my life as an artist so that I could finish the job I started when I was sixteen and decided I wanted to be an artist. And now I’m back where I should be I’ve reclaimed the spot I vacated and will push equine sculpture to the limits.

Now that I’ve found my way again I try to look upon my life in a positive way but there is a hollowness within for my absent friends and the years in the wilderness when I was unable to motivate myself and so every now and then I’m reminded why my resolve and determination must never slip again. It’s kind of strange but that hollowness I feel is in my chest and I feel it physically where my heart is and when I touch upon something special through my art I feel it there but in a different way. I have an ability and it would be a crime to waste it, so I will fight each day for a level of improvement and at least a few marks to register the direction of my life’s journey. Because of my experiences in life I only produce art which I feel with sincerity and I have the courage to be open, honest and vulnerable. Anything less would be a betrayal to all that I believe in and because I’ve had to fight so hard to get my life back I’m not afraid to push myself to any extreme regardless of external perceptions.

I believe there are some hard lessons in life for all of us, but life is too short and precious to be wasted in confusion and misery, life doesn’t just happen, it is what you make it and how you use your human potential that will define your existence.  In my own life I often amaze myself  😉 it could be that I have low expectations of myself or it could be that I’m a pretty good artist, which ever it is, I’m making the most of my potential which is all I can do.


Have a beautiful day ❤ ❤ ❤

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