Louise McNaught ‘Wild’ Series

In the summer of 2013 we were pleased to provide mixed-media artist Louise McNaught with a number of canvases – two of which were used to create artwork whilst on residency at degreeart.com. Inspired by nature and known for her neon palette, in the following blog Louise provides us with some interesting time-lapse footage of the creation of those pieces and the background to the inspiration behind them…

“The piece ‘Wild Spirit’ is from my ‘Wild’ series – which is about nature wearing the colours of man like war paint, trying to adapt to man’s intervention. The fluorescent paint also looks like energy radiating from the animal, as it is painted on the places I find most intense, usually around the eyes, radiating down the neck – wherever there is tension. I use a lot of stags in my work as they are so majestic and pure, like they are wearing ornate crowns on their heads. They are powerful and yet so peaceful. I love that juxtoposition and how they are symbolic of standing your own ground and overcoming life’s obstacles. I believe I am also drawn to stags as it’s the Scottish in me and I just love their anthropormorphic qualities, when they stare at you it’s like they are staring into your soul…The stag is neon pink in the centre, which radiated through to red, then orange at the edges of him to show the energy radiating from him, and the upward drips of the energy are hinting at his divinity. He is also surrounded by butterflies that are also orange to show they are an extension of his presence – gentle yet powerful…

The making of this piece is viewable here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-9iyxmPqWA

‘Wild Spirit’

Folklore is filled with tales of Gods turning into swans due to their angelic looking form. Many cultures have stories incorporating the swan as a symbol of transformation and I like how this correlates with the story of the Phoenix being a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn and associated with the sun. Though the swan is naturally thought of as being associated with the water as that’s where it mostly resides. In the symbolism of Alchemy, the swan was neither male nor female, but the “marriage of opposites”, fire and water – and I feel I have brought these two elements together in this piece with the fiery red variegated gold-leaf sky and the still-cool gold leave water…

‘Wild Pheonix’

‘Wild Ritual’

This is from my ‘Wild’ series, which is about nature wearing the colours of man like war paint, trying to adapt to man’s intervention. The fluorescent paint also looks like energy radiating from the animal, as it is painted on the places I find most intense. I use a lot of stags in my work as they are so majestic and pure, like they are wearing ornate crowns on their heads. They are powerful and yets so peaceful. I love that juxtoposition and how they are symbolic of standing your own ground and overcoming life’s obstacles. I believe I am also drawn to stags as it’s the Scottish in me and I just love their anthropormorphic qualities, when they stare at you it’s like they are staring into your soul…

Here the stags have been set on gold and variagated blue-gold leaf to elevate their status and hint at their divinity, just as religious figures are often depicted in golds and blues to show their holy status. I have further elevated the stag’s status by doing the piece on a very large scale – just over 1.5 x 1.5 metres – which with all the gold leaf creates a very grand piece and presence…

View the video of the making of this piece here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9krH3HzyiT8