Abigail McDougall

 

“Tenderly, he looked into the rushing water, into the transparent green, into the crystal lines of its drawing, so rich in secrets… this water ran and ran, incessantly it ran, and was nevertheless always there, was always at all times the same and yet new in every moment!... It taught him how to listen… with a quiet heart and a waiting open soul, without passion, without desire, without judgment, without opinion” Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Abigail McDougall is an artist based in Bristol, Italy and the island of Thassos in Greece. She was born in Oxford and grew up in Canada, Italy and Dorset. She graduated from Falmouth College of Art in 2005 and started her art career in Bristol, working from Jamaica Street Studios.

Abigail travels the world to collect first hand reference material for her watercolour works, which vary from small to very large scale. Her primary focus is currently

on water, fragile ecosystems and rock formations. Her recent works are inspired by journeys to Morocco (Atlas Mountains, Sahara), Mexico (the mangroves and Sinkholes of the Yucatan peninsula) and her new home in the mountain village of Kazaviti on Thassos.

 

.Abigail tries to push the boundaries of the medium of watercolour and the ways it has been traditionally used or viewed. By working large- scale and using a special preparation for her boards, she achieves a vivid colour palette, always working with the transparency of the paint and white of the board to create luminous and lush depictions of nature. Watercolour is the perfect medium to capture scenes of still water because of the way the fluidity of the paint can be used to depict the reflections on the surface. Abigail tries to achieve a simplicity in mark-making through her use of Chinese paintbrushes, which allow her a versatility and spontaneity as she lays the brushstrokes down in an immediate first- hand way. A distinguishing feature of Chinese brush painting is that each brush stroke is a defining move that is not changed or corrected.

Abigail’s fine art practice is guided by her yoga and meditation practices and by connecting with nature on a daily basis. Her Mexico series entitled “Agua es Vida” (Water is Life) tried to communicate a message about the fragile state that the world’s water sources, ground water and water ecosystems are in and the necessity to take urgent action to protect the world’s sacred water and stand alongside the people who are taking action to try and protect the water with their life, such as the indigenous people in the Americas.