Almost 45 years since she last picked up a paint brush, actor Alison Peebles finally found the muse which drew her to put paint to canvas again – her life with multiple sclerosis.
The actress, best known for roles in BBC Scotland dramas River City and Shetland, was convinced to submit a self portrait as one of 20 created by her fellow graduates from the Edinburgh College of Art in 1975.
Now her work, which was part of the exhibition The Class of 75 at Edinburgh’s Dundas Street Gallery, has been sold – raising funds for Scottish charity Revive – MS Support.
Last week, she donated the proceeds from her artwork to the Glasgow-based organisation.
She was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in 1999, but has continued to work in film, TV and theatre.
Alison, 65, said: “Being really honest, I can’t tell you how daunting it was to paint for the first time in 40 odd years. A self-portrait too It is odd to paint yourself. I was maybe less critical of my 10 years younger self.”
Alison’s painting was based on an image originally captured by photographer Simon Murphy for her play My Shrinking Life, staged for the National Theatre of Scotland in 2008.
She said: “I wanted to show something of how my MS has affected me by adding my leg brace, the shoes I can wear now as well as the ones I can’t.”
The former art students came together after a random meeting of classmates in an art store in Edinburgh. Artists Brian Henderson and Liz Holmes brought the old pals together.
Alison said: “So many of the other exhibitors are highly successful artists and I still can’t believe that my painting sold on the opening night of the exhibition.
She added: “I’m very proud of my self-portrait and delighted to donate proceeds to Revive MS Support.”