Jennifer McRae RSA, Masks : Self Portrait with Great-Granddaughter, watercolour on Fabriano paper, 83 x 65 cm

John Kinross Scholar in 1991


How did the experience affect you as an individual?
The Kinross Scholarship gave me confidence in myself and travelling.

I was working each day with my very young daughter in tow. I was a single parent as a student and this did not hinder the experience at all. The art school I attended, Gray’s, were forward thinking enough to see that.

Part of this gained confidence was learning to remain flexible and fluid; losing direction and working anywhere of visual interest often found by sheer chance.


What was the impact on your practice?
People of all walks of life entered the work as did buildings. These 2 areas of subject matter have never left my practise.


What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and your work?
Fundamentally it made me realise you can simply work anywhere. A studio is very important, yes. But you can create a space pretty much on any corner.

This nugget of knowledge has remained with me and I still take off with my kit given any opportunity, to an undiscovered place. And I have also returned to Italy to work there several times since this gift of a scholarship.
The long term lesson from the Kinross of the need to break up or disrupt studio practise from time to time has been one of the biggest contributors to my understanding of drawing and painting.

Jennifer McRae RSA, Florence the Arno, RSA Collection