Archie’s early passion for art was encouraged by his father who took him on frequent trips to Kelvingrove Art Gallery where they spent hours discussing the exhibits. The young Archie spent his days drawing incessantly, but growing up in the tough working class area of 1950s Maryhill fine art was unthinkable as a career in itself. He won a place at Glasgow School of Art and later Jordanhill Teacher Training College, an education separated by a period of National Service peace keeping in Cyprus. On his graduation from Jordanhill Archie embarked on what was to be a distinguished career as an academic and administration in art education. Throughout this time he painted and had work accepted and hung by all the principal exhibiting forums. He has won numerous awards at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Glasgow Institute of which he is a member, and the Royal Scottish Watercolour society who he served as a vice president for many years. He is represented in many corporate collections, notably the Scottish Arts Council, Glasgow Art Gallery, The Edinburgh Academy, Royal Bank of Scotland, Christian Salveson, Rolls Royce, Cunard and in the personal collections of Griff Rhys Jones and Pete Townsend.
In the last decade Archie has perfected a mature style, a semi-abstracted depiction of several themes closest to his heart. He has drawn on his childhood memories of the Clyde marine industry, the lochs and landscapes of his youth and the tiny fishing villages along the East Neuk of Fife near his Dunfermline home. He is perhaps best known for his paintings of the latter, carefully arranged designs of geometric shapes interspersed with recognizable motifs – creels, numbers, ropes and sections of stone wall – rendering the essence of a working quayside. The night sky is an important theme in Archie’s work that he often returns to. Musing on the immensity of the starlit heavens he sees the concept of the infinite as a useful reminder of our own immortality, and a timely perspective on life and our place within it.