“Scratching the Surface” by artist Douglas McDougall

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In addition to using charcoal, artist Douglas McDougall uses Stanley blades, sharply cut erasers, and coarse sandpaper to texturally scrape the surface of his drawings. It is “a combination of improvisational actions and controlled decision swings that become a series of crossroads for marking time spent at the drawing board.  This is all a system that tends to hold a diary of every progressive moment, of each and every day, extending out until the finished piece comes around. Making each of these works very much a wholly personal event. This is a side to my work that is a mirror of me, and I wouldn’t exactly call it a self-portrait. But a lot of these drawings are about working through my own anxiety, and you could say to a greater or lessor degree, that each piece is an autobiographical theatre,” comments McDougal.

More notes from the artist via email:

“I use a rather heavy cartridge paper with a smooth tooth, 300gsm Snowdon. It is first stretched onto very large MDF panels, and then cut into whichever size is needed. I have 6 of these 10ft x 5ft x 12mm panels lying up against the walls of my studio, which I use as drawing boards. I love the way it bows while working, and the way it reacts under certain applied pressure is very similar to working on canvas stretchers.”

Artwork © Douglas McDougall
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