I had been painting pictures and selling them in exhibitions and in my sister, Judith Glue’s shop in Kirkwall since leaving Grays in Aberdeen so I decided to continue doing this when I finished my course at Harrow School of Art in 1985, along with some book illustration.
In 1986 I completed a commission for Highland Park Distillery showing the distillery workers at work, these were seven large composite paintings for their new visitor centre.
In 2005 I moved to Finstown to purpose built premises designed for all my own needs by Judiths husband, David Spence.
I had previously bought a semi derelict building which ran down to the shore, it had once been a smithy. It seemed to me to have potential! It was half way between the main two towns of Kirkwall and Stromness, it had a car park nearby! And it was big enough to realise my dream of having my own shop, gallery and studio combined.
Soon after work started on the conversion it became clear that there was more than enough space, so Shorelines Accommodation was born and what was just rubble at the end of the building, became an enclosed garden .
Using the income I had earned from that commission, I printed my first four designs of cards, all 8000 cards all together.
I set off to the Aviemore trade fair in Oct that year and sold about 400 cards!
Disaster, I said to my sister what am I going to do?
So she suggested opening a shop at the back of her shop, Judith Glue’s, I did! I called it Shorelines Gallery , the opening was in April 1987.
I spent 10 years there and a further 10 yrs in shop premises in Albert street, Kirkwall.
During that time the business developed into trade, mainly selling cards to other shops throughout Britain, especially Island Shops, as in St Kilda and Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel, a Mail order and online website, an original gallery and shop selling my own prints and most recently, the accommodation.