First Solo Exhibition at Percy Thomson Gallery, in Taranaki.
Ewan McDougall was born in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington), New Zealand. His family later moved to Oamaru where he was educated at Waitaki Boys High School and taught art by Colin Wheeler. McDougall attended Otago University while also working in freezing works and drumming in rock bands. He gained an Honours Degree in Political Studies in 1971. McDougall worked at Otago University as an academic before travelling widely. In 1983 he married his partner Sarah in Perth, Western Australia. McDougall became a full-time painter in 1988.
When the first Covid-19 lockdown arrived in March 2020, Ewan McDougall and Sarah were content as they had ample time to devote to their mahi; Sarah to write and Ewan to paint. Ewan and Sarah’s home, located in beautiful Whaka Oho Rahi, became even more tranquil and energetic.
All of the works in Freed Up In Lockdown were completed during and after lockdown, although not all are specifically related to Covid-19.
The paintings displayed in Freed Up in Lockdown are a distillation of McDougall’s intense period of creativity, when the oil paint flew liberally onto the canvas every day. True to McDougall’s style, the paintings are vibrant and witty.
“I am an Expressionist painter. I rarely plan a painting or do preparatory drawing. I commence the work with a quick wash of strong, primary colour and then begin to hurriedly paint figures-people, animals and hybrid creatures. I add crude marks for volcanoes, hills, sea, buildings, boats, clouds, sun and moon, working with vibrant impasto. The painting forms and informs me as to what it is. The last stroke is always the title. Above all I prize spontaneity, colour and a good dose of irony. I love being a painter.”