Aberdeen watercolourist brings the north-east to life - The Press & Journal

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A retired tax specialist, Gordon says he had “no interest” in painting until he moved to Cornwall in his late thirties with his three children.
Passion for painting “I’m from the countryside near Peterhead and I went to Aberdeen University in the early 70s to study geology,” says Gordon.
” With painting an on-and-off hobby during his last years of working, Gordon says that he always wanted to return to painting when he retired.
Local muses “What I like about watercolouring is that you can paint places like Ma Cameron’s, the Old Townhouse, or even Starbucks in Union Street, in a very loose style,” says Gordon.
“There wasn’t so much in the past in terms of influences for me, but now, I really like the work of James McBey,” says Gordon.

Aberdeen watercolourist brings the north-east to life - The Press & Journal

[[title]] [[text]] An error occurred. Please try again. [[success]] Email address Sign up For most creative people, their passion for their pursuit – whether it’s art, music, writing etc. – tends to stem from a young age. But for Aberdeen watercolourist Gordon McLeman, this isn’t the case. A retired tax specialist, Gordon says he had “no interest” in painting until he moved to Cornwall in his late thirties with his three children. It was here in the scenic south-west of England where he first mingled among arty communities and dabbled some paint onto canvas. Now over two decades on, Gordon adores capturing north-east seascapes, boats and local landmarks in vivid colour through his paintings. He’s sold prints of his work all around the world and now that he’s retired, time is on his side for doing what he loves. Passion for painting “I’m from the countryside near Peterhead and I went to Aberdeen University in the early 70s to study geology,” says Gordon. “I’ve had various jobs throughout my life; I’ve worked in oil down in London, I had a printing business for a while, then I trained as a tax specialist with HMRC, who I worked with for three decades. “It was in the 90s when I lived in Cornwall when I first became interested in painting. “I later moved back up to Aberdeen around the year 2000 and I had a wee studio in the back garden. “I’m self-taught, but I had a really good teacher in the Aberdeen Nomads art group, Mandy Clubb. I learned a lot from her.” With painting an on-and-off hobby during his last years of working, Gordon says that he always wanted to return to painting when he retired. Now five years on since then, he has built a notable reputation for his artwork. Local muses “What I like about watercolouring is that you can paint places like Ma Cameron’s, the Old Townhouse, or even Starbucks in Union Street, in a very loose style,” says Gordon. “I mainly prefer painting machinery, ships, boats, trains and things like that in my paintings, which is maybe to do with my time working in oil many years ago. “I like to think that I’ve developed my own style over the years – I paint what I like, really.” Gordon gravitated towards watercolour rather than oil or acrylic as a matter of convenience, at first. But as he’s refined his own style, he’s also looked to other local painters for inspiration in the artform. “There wasn’t so much in the past in terms of influences for me, but now, I really like the work of James McBey,” says Gordon. “He was a self-taught painter from Newburgh and has a whole section in the National Gallery devoted to him just now. “I like watercolours because they’re unpredictable; they can be very frustrating at times and many a painting has ended up in the bin! “But it’s also nice to come back to paintings that I might’ve pushed aside for a few years with fresh eyes.” This is a recent sketch of Cothill Farm on the outskirts of Aberdeen, Scotland. I love this place, pass it almost every day when out walking, so I’ve seen and painted it in all seasons and every kind of weather. If you like my work you can see more at https://t.co/Ehj56R9AgU pic.twitter.com/KLeVDaB0vG — GM_Art (@gordon_mc) May 6, 2022 Worldwide sales Like many artists, Gordon is modest about his expectations for his work. But turning some of his original paintings into sellable prints has worked out well for him. “Around three years ago, I decided to start selling my art,” says Gordon. “I joined Etsy last year which was really good for me in terms of generating sales from around the world. About half my sales on Etsy have been overseas – mostly to the USA. “I did a sketch of Jimmy Perez’s cottage from the TV series Shetland and so many of these went to the states.” However, what Gordon gains the most from sales of his prints are the fascinating stories behind them. Whether it’s Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom or a lobster boat by the seaside, Gordon’s paintings have helped people to relive cherished memories. “You get to meet some really interesting people through selling prints of your work,” Gordon enthuses. “One of my Beach Ballroom prints went to somebody in Germany as a present. “It was a wife purchasing it for their husband, who had lived back in Aberdeen in the 50s and he was in a band at the time. “His band had played in the Beach Ballroom all those years ago and it’s just so nice to bring back memories like that for people.” Therapeutic hobby Not looking to make profits through his work, it is the enjoyment of painting that Gordon relishes the most. And with his enthusiasm ever-growing, Gordon goes to show that it’s never too late to pick up something new. “I find painting really therapeutic – that’s what I enjoy most,” Gordon smiles. “It’s not that I paint eight hours a day. But if I can get two or three hours in every day, I’m happy with that. “I’m currently in the middle of converting the spare bedroom into a studio, which will be easier than painting on the dining room table!” “Looking ahead, I just want to continue what I’m doing and keep enjoying it in the process.” Visit www.etsy.com/uk/shop/GordonMclemanArt to view Gordon’s prints on his Etsy page.
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