I have realised that as I get older, my work has become more abstract. I think this is something which is quite common with artists. You put a lot of energy into learning to draw 'properly' but as you move ahead you learn to break all the rules! In the early days I always painted subjects out on location using the medium of watercolour but these days I prefer to work inside my studio as I can have all my materials for creating the painting nearby. 

I really like now to play with different ideas and materials. If I am going to do a totally abstract picture, I often just start by adding loose marks with pencil, crayon and charcoal on to the white board. I try not to think too much and not to control my actions. You often find that when you do this the marks are quite similar and are your own language of mark making. Then I add some black and white paint marks and leave the board to dry. After this I start to work in layers with acrylic paint and collage building up forms that I can see within the painting. Again I always leave the picture to dry between each layer or the painting will go muddy. It is also good to leave a couple of days for thinking about the picture between layers. Having said that with acrylics you can paint over any areas you really hate unlike watercolours which are mostly transparent. Sometimes I will add in some birds or a house. Examples of this technique are pictures 'Blue day at Marwick' and 'Oystercatcher abstract'.

I also use watercolours for more abstract work, in 'The end of the summer in Hoy' i used a mixture of brown ink for the drawing and dropped watercolour paint over to create the landscape. I also used watercolours to paint 'Razorshell landscape', this idea for an image was taken from a razorshell I found on the shore. I liked the grooves and colours of the shell. 

Ideas for abstract paintings can come from any random thing! an old door, a shell or just your imagination. I hope you enjoy looking at all these pictures.