Daniel is a married family man with 3 children and 3 grandchildren. He was born in Glencoe in the south west of Scotland- a place steeped in history. His parents relocated to the picturesque town of Nairn when Daniel was 6 months old. Situated alongside the glorious scenery of the Moray Firth, Nairn is an ancient Burgh- originally known as ‘Invernairne’- with records dating back to the 13th century. Its civic history begins with the creation of the Royal Charter in the 12th century, when King David granted the original Charter and later confirmed by King James in1589. The granting of the charter elevated Nairn to the status of a Royal Burgh, with many privileges that were allowed by the royal recognition.
Daniel was educated in Nairn and went on to work in an engineering environment. Through working with him in recent years, it is clear that he has always had a keen eye for detail and is a relentless perfectionist. Daniel acknowledges that he has had a creative, artistic mind all his life but it is only in recent years had the time and opportunity to pursue his passion for art and history.
Daniel is a keen amateur photographer and he is inspired by everything around him. This includes the beautiful countryside around the Moray Firth. While out walking his 3 dogs he always has a camera at hand to capture nature and historic buildings which he later uses as a starting point for his screen prints. Each one having its unique story to tell.
Daniel’s first print is of the house where his father was born 6 miles south of Nairn. The house is called Tomshougle which is Gaelic for ‘little house on hill’. His inspiration for this print came from myself wanting to know more of my family history with my father now in his 88th year. When he went to take a photograph the sheep (which are characteristically skittish creatures), were inquisitive and watched him take the picture. He then took a separate shot of sheep and combined the 2 into one image which later thought would make an unusual screen print. Due to an uninteresting sky he decided to have a translucent map of part of Nairshire as the sky but also fading to almost clear over rest of image.
This is a print is of a 13th century chapel ruin 2 miles south of Cawdor Castle near Nairn. Being a Christian, Daniel was inspired by this ruin and envisaged how it must have been like back then. It is the most interesting chapel of the Catholic period in Nairnshire and was in active use until Cawdor church was built in the 1600’s. An open air service is held there once a year by Cawdor church. The architecture of the windows and design is reminiscent of a Gothic chapel. Daniel has visited ‘Barevan’ (as it is known today) many times and found it an incredibly peaceful place. In 13th century Scotland it was known as ‘St Ewan’ or ‘Adamnan’. Adamnan was responsible for writing the history of King Brude the king of the picts being converted to Christianity. He printed overlays to this image and map of the surrounding area.
This next image shows Dulsie Bridge, the 3rd screen print offered here by Daniel with a lot of historical associations. His inspiration for this print derives not only from the history of the setting, but the beauty of the countryside and nature around it. The bridge spans the river Findhorn high above its scenic rocky gorge. Daniel enthuses that “The location is somewhere you just want to keep visiting, which I have done as man and boy and also a favourite place with my family”.
He goes on to say “I have printed some of the history on the bridge about the great Moray Floods. It has been referred to as one of General Wade Bridge, when in fact was built by his successor Major William Caufield”. Incidentally, the military road from Perth to Fort George was constructed between 1748 and 1757.
Nearby is Dulsie farm which was the King’s house or Inn where Robert Burns stayed during his Highland tour of 1787.
The Countess of Ross married Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, better known as the Wolf of Badenoch, fourth son of Robert the 2nd.
He had under his control the lands as far as Skye and Lewes, Banff to the east, Perth, Fife and Galloway.
The Earl quarrelled with The Bishop of Moray, who was supposed to be under his control and jurisdiction. The Wolf also treated his wife very badly and she left him. The Wolf who had seized the Bishops lands in Badenoch was in turn excommunicated. In retaliation he burnt the town of Forres. Later that month he emerged with his followers from his retreited at Lochindorb and burnt the whole town of Elgin, church of St Giles, the Maisondieu, the grand Cathedral, and 18 beautiful mansions belonging to canons and Chaplan. These were undoubtedly the actions of a madman. He was later imprisoned and died at Dunkeld in 1394, where a monument exists there to his memory.