I was born and brought up in Bellshill in Lanarkshire, Scotland, and I had much encouragement to draw and paint from my family in my early years.
Contemporary Landscape Artist Ken Bushe and Cow
At Secondary School, my interest in painting survived, despite the best efforts of the Head of the Art Department.
I got a real boost when I discovered Art Classes run by Glasgow School of Art for 14 to 16 yr olds. These enlightened classes had a strong influence on many of those who attended, and provided a stepping stone between school and art college.
I went to Edinburgh College of Art and studied in Drawing and Painting. During this time my interest in landscape painting was ignited by a trip to the island of Iona off the West Coast of Scotland, and further encouraged by a short stay at Hospitalfield (a large house at Arbroath, Tayside, then jointly owned by the four Scottish art colleges).
After leaving college I worked in ceramics, first as an instructor and later as a craft potter producing gas fired stoneware pottery.
I worked as a musician in the eighties, playing electric fiddle and metal vest (Zydeco frottoir) in, what was at the time, Scotland’s only heavy metal cajun band - Deaf Heights, and appeared with Bo Diddley, Mud, The Pogues, King Kurt, The Proclaimers, KD Laing, Charlie Musselwhite and Runrig.
Venues included Barrowland, Olympia, Dingwalls, The Hundred Club, King Tuts, Goldsmiths College, Fat Sams, Princes Street Gardens, Hopeton House, Cafe Grafitti and the legendary Mucky Duck in Shotts, Lanarkshire. Featured on BBC’s “The Tube”
Thanks to Marc Marnie - Photographer
In a tent - last century
Painting and playing music went well together, but like many other artists in their early stages I have often had jobs which didn’t....
For my sins, at various other times I have worked on a farm, in a steelworks, building sites, a warehouse, hotels, a factory, in several filling stations and in a kilt hire shop.
Painting 1988 - present
Pirntaton Hill near Fountainhall
Winter landscape in the Borders
I lived for some time in a hill farm cottage overlooking the Gala Water and Fountainhall in the Scottish Borders. Here, I became increasingly interested in seeing the sky as the major element in landscape painting. This remains my main motivation for painting.
While I’ve always painted, I started painting as a fulltime occupation in 1988, first in the Scottish Borders, then in the South East of England, before moving back to Scotland in 1997.
I now live in Broughty Ferry, near Dundee in Scotland. Besides oil rigs I’ve seen otters from the window, dolphins, tall ships, a hovercraft and a Lancaster bomber.
2 moods of the Tay - both from the same window.
I can’t stand football and I have no interest in any sport, soap opera, religion, or reality TV.
Some other interests are photography, ships, animals, computer graphics, metalworking, woodworking, engines, history, natural history, poetry, sculpture and doing websites.