Monday, 12 August 2013

Artist of the Week - Abigail McDougall

Abigail McDougall paints acrylic and watercolour landscapes and cityscapes. She will be showing her work at the Brighton Art Fair in September.

What was your journey to becoming an artist?
Art was always my favourite subject as a child and I sold a few pieces of my artwork when I was at school, this spurred me on to study art and to just keep on doing it. The real start of my career was when I moved to Bristol after graduating from Falmouth College of Art. Some friends started to get studio spaces at Jamaica Street Studios and they let me put a few pieces of my work up at their annual open studios. I sold a few pieces, so I made more work and started exhibiting in galleries all around Bristol.

Is being an artist your only job?
It is now my only job. It's taken a few years to build up to this.

One favourite living artist?
David Hockney is such an inspiration, he has always tried new technology and incorporated it into his work. His use of colour and mark making are really outstanding and his work ethic is incredible "Give me the Royal Academy and I'll fill it". He recently said.

One favourite historical artist?
My favourite artist from history is Paul Klee. His work taught me to compose pictures, use colour and to be expressive. Invaluable lessons.

If you could collaborate with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?
I'd like to go back to the time when Paul Klee and August Macke were travelling together in Tunisia and be with them, discovering the new light of Africa.

Who is your style icon?
In terms of painting it would be Peter Doig currently. In terms of art, music, fashion all rolled into one that would be Grace Jones.

Last book / film that blew your mind?
David Lynch films are always mind blowing. It's not a film, but I recently finished watching the Twin Peaks series- amazing. I also recently watched his film Dune- mind blowing certainly- not necessarily in a good way...

Last gig you went to?
I went to see the Knife at the Camden Roundhouse. It was spectacular.

How many hours do you waste on the internet each day?
As little as possible- I'm quite traditional. It can be anything between 0 and 8 hours.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
I'd like to spend some time living in Morocco. I have visited twice and I'm in love with the culture, landscapes, atmosphere and light. The range of mind blowing exotic landscapes is so incredible I just have a bit of a Morocco thirst that I need quenching. 

Where and what is your studio?
My studio is in Jamaica Street Studios, in the centre of Bristol. It's the largest independent artist studios outside of London. It is an old carriage works building with massive windows and incredible light. I have a big space I share with another artist. There are around 40 artists in the building so it's a really lively place. We put on quite a lot of high profile exhibitions as a collective.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
Not really right now, but I grew up in Italy, so when I do enjoy life I do know how to enjoy the good life.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

What would your dream commission be?
It would be brilliant to be commissioned to cycle all around Britain and paint scenes from the cycle routes. But as that commission hasn't happened yet, I just have to do it myself slowly bit by bit.

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
I really like the Pompidou Centre, it would be fantastic to exhibit there.

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