A SHANDON artist has opened an exhibition showcasing a collection of her best paintings.

Dorothy Whitaker opened the exhibition at the Back Door Gallery, behind Dalmuir Library in Clydebank, two weeks ago and has since welcomed a number of people to view her work, including famous friend, former Generation Game hostess, Isla St Clair.

She told the Advertiser: “There’s about 30 paintings and some are quite large.

“It’s quite lovely and colourful.”

Dorothy explained that the paintings tell the narrative of her life as a young girl, growing up in Glasgow, to the present day, painting pictures from her house overlooking the Gareloch.

“It starts with when I was young growing up in the tenements in Glasgow, and when I used to run home from school and ride along Dumbarton Road on a horse behind the trams, to when I lived in Africa,” she said.

“Horses feature in it a lot.”

Dorothy also shared the fond memory of running home from school and hearing the ‘rag man’ call out for people to give him rags in the street in return for a balloon.

After living in Glasgow and attending the Glasgow School of Art, Dorothy moved to Africa for 10 years, where she continued painting and taught art classes.

She explained that African culture and the bright colours had influenced her work a lot after she fell in love with the culture.

“A lot of my work is still influenced by Africa,” she said.

“It was great fun and I’m still painting away like mad. I paint all the time.”

Dorothy has moved around a lot over the years, which gave her the opportunity to teach art lessons in various countries including Scotland, Africa and Australia.

Dorothy and her husband Phil recently moved to a house in Shandon with a huge garden and enough space to set up an art studio.

“When I got older I thought ‘I want to smell the Scottish air down the Clyde’,” she said, “so we moved to Shandon, and Helensburgh hasn’t really changed from when I used to visit for the day when I was younger.”

One of the last paintings in the collection is of the wildlife and plants in the couple’s garden.

Dorothy added: “We only came back to Scotland two years ago but we love it here.

“We have a studio here right at the front of the garden and we planted lots of flowers to attract bees. It looks out over the Gareloch, it’s lovely.

“It was difficult to choose which paintings to include because there are so many.

“My husband and I went over them and I wanted to show what it was like to be brought up in Glasgow.

“I chose some from my time in Africa because they really influenced my work.

“Africa is totally different and a lot of time you are in the bush. The work includes my feelings about Africa. It’s a great continent, and the people are lovely and talkative.

Dorothy’s love of painting started when she was growing up.

She added: “I have been painting my whole life – since I could hold a pencil, my mum told me.

“It’s wonderful. I recently had a hip replacement and it’s the best pain relief because when you are doing something you love you don’t think about the pain.”

The exhibition is free to view and will remain open until Sunday, July 21.