Ailsa grew up in a tiny village in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland during the 70’s. The family of four children was supplemented with chickens, ducks, doves, cats, rabbits and mice and it’s from here that her love of nature and wildlife grew.
After school she was lucky to get a place at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen where she studied Graphic Design and Illustration.
Over the next 10 years Ailsa worked in Edinburgh as an arts and outreach worker, a support worker and a youth worker with young people and adults with a range of mental health problems and learning disabilities.
In 2001 she moved back to Dumfries and Galloway and her and her partner bought a house in the tiny village of Carsethorn which sits perched on the Solway Coast. It has a pub, a telephone box and a bus stop. From the house she can see porpoises, otters and seals not to mention being surrounded by the usual foxes, badgers, deer and an amazing variety of birdlife.
After she moved back to Dumfries and Galloway Ailsa started to paint and approached one or two galleries. Soon the galleries asked for cards and prints and so I started to produce those and from there things have steadily grown.
In 2012 Ailsa was sponsored by her local council to attend a trade craft fair and from then on she started selling work to trade, as well as undertaking commissions and selling with galleries. .
Although her surroundings are Ailsa’s inspiration they are really just a starting point. She tries to keep her paintings fairly simple in their composition and likes to use a restricted number of colours. Ailsa tries to add a touch of warmth to the animals and people…she want them to look friendly and welcoming. In her world she imagine the conversations that animals have between themselves and with the people they meet. If you are in the area you will see Ailsa out with their collie dog. You will also see him and Alan appear in her paintings! They walk on the beaches and up the local hill where they watch the wildlife and then she goes back to huddle in her studio and creates a world where the animals really do talk.
All items are posted on the Wednesday following submission of your order.