Getting to Know Eleanor McGough and David Malcolm Scott

If you haven’t had a chance to visit Horizon Line yet, you can still do so until September 1st! Featured artists Eleanor McGough and David Malcolm Scott have shared a bit about themselves and their work.


Eleanor McGough (left) and David Malcolm Scott (right)

1: The title of this month’s show is Horizon Line. How do you think your work relates to that title?
EM: Both of us work in imagery that is rooted in landscape or geography.  In my case, the work is often mysteriously atmospheric, aquatic, or terrestrial – or sometimes all of these things at once! The horizon line is always this fascinating threshold between land and air, water and land, solid ground and the great beyond. The horizon line can remind you of the vastness of place while simultaneously showing you that a surface has a finite end.
DMS: Horizon Line looms large in my work. I developed the scrolls as a way of representing the vast space of the prairie, where it’s often the major/only physical point of reference. My use of scrolls has developed beyond this but that was an important starting point.
the burn web
Eleanor McGough, “The Burn Web”
2: Tell us a little bit about the process of preparing for this show. What have been some challenges or highlights?
EM: Rosalux is the perfect raw space. The series I have been developing is mostly large scale and it is a joy to get such a broad area to show a body of work in.  I am so pleased to show with David Malcolm Scott as I have always admired his work – his sense of detail and elegance in each piece.  Really the only challenge has been that scheduling for me this year landed 2 large shows that are open at the same time, as I have part of this series in an exhibit at The Phipps in Hudson WI titled “Flight Patterns.
DMS: My art is in evolution so having it come forward to a satisfying point by show time- while working a chaotic more-than-full-time job is always a challenge.
David Malcolm Scott
3: Why do you believe art is important?
EM: This could have an endless rambling answer, but I will have to avoid that route and just say that Art elevates us – reminds us that we have intellect, emotion, and soul.
DMS: Art is life, life needs art in order to have meaning, no art no life- period.
4: Why do you think you make the kind of work you do? What sort of things influence your work?
EM: I love the directness of painting, making a mark.  It feels like the most natural thing in the world.  Among many influences, I count entomology, biology and the work of Ernst Haeckel and Maria Sybilla Merian, textile and wallpaper patterns from William Morris to Marimekko, and maps. From the long history of painting,  I marvel at traditional Asian panel and scroll paintings, as well as the woodblock prints of Hiroshige. Although I make static images, I am influenced by many atmospheric/landscape images in cinema- film makers like Werner Herzog, and Carlos Reygadas come to mind. I only recently saw “Red Desert ” the 1964 film by Michelangelo Antonioni and was completely taken with the landscape imagery.
DMS: I grew up close to nature, in the pine forests of the south and in a small town on the Oklahoma prairie, later I lived in cities and studied architecture. I believe these influences pushed me towards art based on landscape.
5: What made you decide to pursue a career in art rather than something else?
EM: It has never felt like a choice. Painting seems automatic to me.

steam plume web
Eleanor McGough, “Steam Plume Web”
6: What was one of the biggest challenges you have faced as an artist?
EM: Money.
7: How do you think your involvement in Rosalux has affected you as an artist?
EM: I really respect the artists who have created and sustained Rosalux, and it is an honor to now be part of the group! I want to learn as much as I can from them.
DMS: Rosalux has given me a community of fellow artists and watching their work develop over the years has pushed me to always push my art.
8: If you could give one piece of advice to young or aspiring artists, what would that be?
EM: Try everything that you were told not to do!
DMS: Don’t stop making work- adjust what art you make if you have to due to life’s circumstances but never stop creating.
9: If the audience of Horizon Line could go home knowing one thing, what would you want that to be?
EM: Painting is mysteriously connected to the human experience.
DMS: That social & environmental concerns can be expressed thru beauty – without words.
David Malcolm Scott
10: What kind of work might we expect to see from you next?
EM: I am still in the thick of this series of paintings I call “flight patterns” and I plan to expand it.  Who knows what is around the next corner…
DMS: After focusing a lot of my time on work about the Twin Cities over the last five years I see my work getting more abstract and global in nature.