About

Andy was born in London in 1948 and studied architecture at Edinburgh University, graduating in 1973.  After working for a short time in private practice, he joined the Scottish Development Department and spent a 25 year Civil Service career working in a number of different posts.  He accepted an offer of early retirement in 2001, partly in order to pursue his long-standing interest in art.  He has been a member of the Scottish Society of Architect Artists since 2002 and since then has exhibited regularly with the SSAA. He established his own business as a self-employed artist in 2007, and set up the website  www.andrewmckeanarts.co.uk  in 2008.

Having spent 40 years in Edinburgh, he moved to Galloway in 2007, hoping to benefit from the encouraging environment for art within the region, and he now lives in Gatehouse of Fleet, where he has a studio and a small ‘shop window’ at his home in the High Street.  In addition to the ‘exhibitions’ listed here, his work can also be seen at the Cally Palace Hotel, at Galloway Lodge and at the Mill on the Fleet in Gatehouse.  He has been a member of Dumfries & Galloway ‘Spring Fling’ Open Studios since 2010.

Not surprisingly, the subjects of Andy’s paintings usually include old buildings, meticulously drawn, often in sharp linear perspective, and viewed from dramatic angles.  The sense of depth is heightened further by the use of quite subtle tonal and textural variations between receding planes.  But it is his use of light and shade to accentuate the form of the buildings and the modelling of the facades that most of all characterises Andy’s work.  Seen in this way, the subjects of the paintings, many of which are local to South-West Scotland and instantly recognisable, are given a strong personality and presence of their own, much the same as in traditional human portraiture.  The paintings are also very realistic and often highly detailed, for example in the careful rendering of openings in the façade and reflections in the windows, like ‘the building’s eyes’, giving character to the subject.

Although originally a watercolorist, Andy now works mainly in water-thinned acrylics.  His paintings are very colourful, exploiting the density and scope for layering available in that medium and the attractive effects that it can produce in combination with the rough texture of watercolour paper.  As well as old buildings and monuments, his subjects also cover townscape scenes, houses, gardens, landscapes and seascapes.  His paintings often feature the strong compositional effects produced by patterns of bright sunlight and deep shadow on weathered masonry, stones or rocks, contrasted with the soft textures and rich colours of vegetation.

Since moving to Gatehouse, he has been producing a body of new work responding to the wealth of ideal subjects readily available, including the lovely scenery of the Galloway Hills and Solway Coast, as well as its numerous monuments and historic houses, and the wonderful quality of light.  His recent work has shown an increasing emphasis on landscape and seascape, not only as settings for architecture, but also as primary subjects in their own right.

Site by esspeedee