IT expert goes from rat race to art space

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Tech expert Graham Watson turned his back on a high salaried job as an IT expert to go it alone in the fickle world of art, setting aside his computer mouse and deftly picking up his palette and brushes.

Software consultant Graham Watson had risen as usual for work at 5.30am for the long trek from East Kilbride to Stranraer to fix an IT emergency.

Long drives, early rises and late nights were nothing new to him as he had spent his career in the technology sector troubleshooting IT disasters across the country.

This particular morning, however, Watson received a life-changing telephone call.

His journey to Stranraer was interrupted by his employer who called him on his carphone and announced that Graham’s job was to be made redundant — news that would normally floor a worker.

But Graham used the turn of events to reconsider his options.

“Far from being devastated,” said Graham, “it was almost a relief. At 49, the thousands of miles of driving, living out of a suitcase in hotels and eating on the hoof was beginning to take its toll on my health.”

Faced with the question of what to do next, Graham decided to rekindle a longheld ambition to try and make it as an artist.

Next week, he realises his dream with an exhibition of his work which debuts at Mearns Castle Golf Academy.

The exhibition has something for various tastes: large oil paintings of up to 5x4metres and original artwork for a children’s book series.

Paintings of various styles and media include a piece covering life on St Kilda; WW1 life in the trenches and other mostly figurative works.

He is also looking to attract corporate commisions.

He said: “Some of my larger work would be suitable for public spaces and buildings where firms may want to buy or rent installations.”

The exhibition runs from Monday to Thursday, July 21-24 from 10am until 10pm; and on Friday and Saturday, July 25-26 from 10am until 8pm.