Elspeth McLean

Vancouver Island, Kanada

Independent Artist. Colour Creatress and dot fanatic. Lover of sipping tea, collecting heart stones and treasure hunting.

FAQ about my artwork

*What do you use to create the dots?

This is my most frequently asked question, many people ask if i use tooth picks, the back end of a paint brush or sticks.

The answer is…. i use paint brushes! Just your average (but very small) paint brush. The secret is in keeping the brush is good condition, nice and round, no straying hairs and the hairs nice and straight. The creation of dots is all about how much paint is loaded onto the brush and then the pressure as to which it is applied.

*In paintings where there are circles, how do you get the circles so perfect

I have an odd collection of “round things” which I use as templates. The collection consists of lids off jars, cds, old lipgloss containers, sticky tape rings, cups, plates… you name it!

*How do you get the colours so bright and bold?

Many many layers of paint! On every part of my painting there is a minimum of 3 layers of paint, and up sometimes 6! This creates the vibrancy!

*Do you use an airbrush for the fading affect?

The answer is no, I use paint and paint brush. I love creating fading and have many many years of practice at it.

*What drugs are you on?

Some people think that to create these colourful artworks I must be under the influence of some.

The answer is: NONE!
I am straight edge, which means I do not drink or take any substance. I have never experimented with anything. Although I drank alcohol in my teens, I never got completely “wasted”. I have made a lifetime commitment to be straight edge.

In this commitment I have discovered the joy and benefits of natural clean living. I am inspired by natural highs that i get from being with loved ones, animals, in nature, while dancing, and while painting! I see the world in a beautiful colourful way and that is my inspiration.

*Is your artwork aboriginal?

Although I am Australian and feel the spirit of Australia run through me and have a great respect for the Aboriginal culture, my artwork is not aboriginal.

I do not use their colours, themes or patterns. The use of dots is purely decoration and for visual effect. The use of dots in my artwork evolved from using dots and circles as shading in my pencil and ink drawings. It is also an expression of the circle “symbol of infinity”. When I create the dotwork in my artwork it is a very meditative and joyful experience for me! I could do it all day long!

*How do you sign your artwork?

I sign my artwork with my initials EM in braille.
I got this idea when someone once commented that my artwork is like “braille for the soul”.
What i love about my artwork is how tactile it is and wanted my signature to carry this through.
I sign it on the side of mounted canvas’s or for flat images I like to camouflage it within the painting. I am not a fan of boldly signed artworks – I feel it removes the viewer from the experience. So this is why I like to be discreet as possible.

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