From an early age, Isabelle was deeply interested in, and obviously had, a natural talent for drawing and painting. On leaving school she went to work at Barr and Stroud and became a detail draughtswoman; the company encouraged her to take classes at Glasgow School of Art and it was there at the age of seventeen that she met Hamish in a life-drawing class. They were married in 1954 after his service in the R.A.F., by which time she was working as a civil engineering draughtswoman.
Isabelle first became interested in art and therapy after taking, along with Hamish, a two year part-time course in counselling psychology under the direction of Dr. Frank Lake. She went on to tutor on behalf of his charity – The Clinical Theology Association – for the next twenty years. Meanwhile she was also raising the family, Hamish jn, Neil and Iona, and was working at home as a free-lance artist.
Isabelle was invited to work as an art teacher/therapist at St. Euphrasia’s R. C. residential school in Bishopton. After six and a half happy years she went to work at a Church of Scotland alcohol and drug recovery unit where she developed a family support facility using her art and therapeutic skills.
Isabelle and Hamish had a great love of Skye and painted there frequently but with the family growing up they travelled abroad, mainly in the U.S.A., painting wherever they went. They had a one woman/one man show in Columbus City Museum in Georgia; Isabelle also lectured on the relationship between art and therapy at West Georgia University. She was a member of The Glasgow Society of Women Artists and Exhibited regularly at home, including with Milngavie and Bearsden Art Clubs at The Lillie Gallery. She was a member of the Mill Group, meeting at Gavin’s Mill weekly to paint.
Isabelle developed lung cancer in the early nineties but for her ‘cancer’ was a word not a sentence and she continued bravely to have an active life, including her painting, for the next fifteen years. As a painter she was a woman of considerable imagination with a freedom of style in her chosen mediums. She saw beauty in the natural world in both its immensity as in the mountains, deserts and rolling landscape – and in its smallest detail, the pebble or rock pool. She was an ardent collector of stones.
Isabelle will be remembered by many for her oft repeated phrase “we are all beautifully different”.
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