Montpelier-based watercolour artist and printmaker Lindsay McDonagh moved to Bristol to escape the bustle of London eight years ago. Classically trained in interior architecture, design and film production, she had a stint at a landscape architecture company before deciding to move out West.
Now part of the Drawn in Bristol collective, her studio is located in Hamilton House, where she’s settled into the Bristol art scene, an environment that she says is both “active and accessible”.
Although traditionally trained in design, she took to watercolour like a duck to water, finding it worked well with nature, “because of the delicate, translucent effect which can be achieved.”
Nature has always been her greatest inspiration and she works from both reference books and her own photographs. “I’ve always loved natural history and enjoy capturing the expressions of animals as well as the colours and textures of fur. I often make lots of trips to natural history museums for research,” she says.
Specialising in paintings of mammals and birds, she’s produced two exclusive limited edition paintings for Bristol 24/7 - a hare and a fox. “Hares and foxes are great to paint because I find their features and colourings lend themselves well to watercolours. Hares also look slightly deranged so it’s fun to try and capture that sensibility.”
Lindsey’s work is marked out by its simplicity, “The materials and tools I use are very simple: Somerset satin paper 300gsm, a pencil, watercolour paints and a selection of different sized watercolour brushes.”
Although her materials are simple, there's plenty of room for error when it comes to texture of fur, or the glint in the eye of a hare: “I find the slightest brush stroke can effect the whole expression of the animal.”
Bristol 24/7 is pleased to be donating 10 per cent of the revenue from the sale of the prints to St Mungos, a charity close to Lindsay’s heart. “I’m often struck by how present homelessness is on our streets and feel that everyone should have a place to go home to,” says Lindsay. “It’s a complicated issue and I think it’s important to support charities that provide long term support for people, but also help to tackle education and mental health issues.”
For more information, visit www.lindsaymcdonagh.com