From Black-and-White to Colour: An Inspiring Trip to Edinburgh.

The Bridget Riley exhibition at the Scottish Museum of Modern Art had only a couple of weeks left so I decided it was time to revisit one of my favourite cities, Edinburgh. Bridget Riley is one of my all time favourite artist. As a very young artist I used oil paints and loved painting portraits, inspired by Rembrandt. I loved the way the eyes are so cleverly painted in such a way as to bring the eyes to life and followed you around the room. This was where my first fascination with optical illusions started. Once I started my art classes in secondary school my art teacher Mr Pimperton introduced me to the work of Bridget Riley. My inspiration was drawn into the direction of Op Art and was the beginning of my journey into pattern and visual illusions created through mathematics.

‘I had to work through the black-and-white paintings before I could even begin to think about colour’. (Bridget Riley, 2009)

During her career of over 60 years, Bridget Riley (b. 1931) has used painting to investigate the nature of perception and the act of looking. In 2016 I had the honour of meeting Bridget Riley and was able to say thank you for inspiring my creative path as a young aspiring artist to branch into the work of pattern.

Whilst developing my patterns for wallpapers, for many years I almost had a fear of working with colour and could only work in black and white. Scottish artist and writer David Bachelor called this ‘Chromophobia’. After hearing him talk about this concept at a seminar in 2012 I realised it dawned on me that I was suffering from from a chronic case of Chromophobia and I decided it was time to leap into the world of colour and overcome my fears.


As the body of my designs grew and I started to cautiously experiment with colour I had the pleasure of meeting  interior designer and author of ‘The Colour Code’, Klara Goldy . We decided to collaborate together and it was a real pleasure to work with her and learn how to play with colour. We spent a day together in my studio experimenting and playing with colour combinations.


Recently I have been drawing most of my inspiration from the colour combinations used in historical fabrics from the Victorian and Georgian era’s to apply to my pallet of colours. Whilst in the Scottish Portrait Gallery during my visit to Edinburgh I became fascinated by the colour combinations of fabrics depicted in the 15th and 16th century oil paintings. I have been so inspired by these images I took in the gallery and I plan to introduce these to my pallet of future designs for both wallpapers and fabrics.