Scott McDougall || Q&A || FADING ELEGANCE - Visions of Cuba
Can you give us some background to how you became a visual artist?
It’s in the blood! Always the artist, from as far back as I can remember.
I was the kid in primary school that the teacher always called to draw something on the blackboard.
When did you start, why did you start?
My dad was a terrific hobby painter and always encouraged me to paint and draw. He always had something constructive to say to help me improve my work.
I had a natural ability and simply love to paint and draw. It was the subject I could really excel in.
Other artists that inspire you? - Do they change overtime/ year to year?
Vermeer and Caravaggio always, and Chuck Close and Estes in my art college years.
Where do you get your inspiration for each work from?
Inspiration is never hard, I’m surrounded by colour and textures. The real problem is finding enough time to paint everything I want too. I love urban scenery and architecture and travel the world every year seeking imagery I can use to create small narratives on my canvasses. It is an exciting challenge, composing an image from drawings, photos and ideas from some half remembered vignette.
Where do you paint and what is your ideal routine/ daytime… or night owl
Home studio and I’m definitely a morning painter. Without interruption I can get on a roll and suddenly find it dark outside my studio window…with no memory of the passing of time. My wife says I go to Scottie land!
How did you arrive at the title of this current show?
I have had a couple of trips to Cuba and I am fascinated with this small island country, cut off from the rest of the world since the Cuban missile crises of the 1960’s. It has been locked in another time, and it’s not often anyone gets a chance to see something so unique. The architecture is beautiful, but crumbling before your eyes. The people of Cuba are beautiful and so spirited, it is hard to believe they can maintain their strength through so many years of hardship and economic depression. I stay with families when I travel and hear, first hand, their stories of revolution, poverty and passion. I wanted to capture some of this on canvas - my works are a record of a time that is about to change, and I fear, change too fast. I hope it will be a change for the better, a change that will improve the lives of all Cuban people
What is your painting process, atmosphere and colour seems to be a key process, can you tell us about this?
I trawl through my images looking for the right ingredients, scenes with great colours and textures and some kind of narrative I can lose myself in. I shift images around, delete some parts, add others, boost colours, mute others, until I have created a composition I’m happy with. I find I can only concentrate on one painting at a time. I need to give each painting my complete focus till that last brush stroke is applied.
Scott McDougallFading Elegance - Visions of Cuba
16 June - 4 July
16 June - 4 July