The first time I think I felt really excited about art was at an exhibition at the then newly-opened Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Belford Road, Edinburgh, in 1987. Entitled The Vigorous Imagination, it was a showcase for contemporary Scottish artists, many of them painters such as Stephen Conroy, John Bellany, Adrian Wizniewski, Ken Currie and Peter Howson. I was particularly taken with Stephen Conroy, whose painting above was used for the poster, which I had a precious copy of for years. I remember feeling such a sense of amazement, walking round the new, expansive space, taking in ideas, that I could hardly breathe. Before then, paintings and sculpture and installations had never really spoken to me, even though I grew up in a house where art was all around me; I had an appreciation of it that fell short of real engagement. The mystery and majesty of Conroy's paintings, as well as his undeniable skill, had a profound impact on me. I longed to own one.