In our new series Print Stories we talk to artist Andrew MacGregor about the inspiration and process behind his work. Scroll down to find out more and see the artists process.
Andrew MacGregor is a multidisciplinary artist based in east London. His work spans sculpture, illustration, set design and art direction.
After graduating from Middlesex University in 2004 with a BA (HONS) illustration, he has been able to expand his skillset to include three dimensional work and developed his commercial eye by working for notable brands within the fashion, art, interior design, retail, publishing and product design industries.
Since 2009, he has made a conscious effort to work with sustainable materials and is now the founder and creative director of The Colour Of Water, a creative organisation aiming to impact conservation through the power of art and community.
Macgregor’s artistic style is bold, colourful and uplifting, with great attention to detail through his use of layering and composition. From his paintings to his sculptures, there is a sense of accuracy and playfulness that captures the minds of the viewer.
People, the natural world, the human condition, our perception of the world, our beauty, the chaos within us, the chaos we create! We’re complex sentient beings…it fascinates me to look at these complexities and how to interpret them. I see so much when I look at people. Human character can be as plain as day…if you look carefully enough!
I had to look beyond the normal resources and pursue things that I hadn’t done before, otherwise you can get the feeling of stagnation. I took up figure sculpture, I’ve always had an interest in action figures and puppets and ‘designer toys’ etc.
Its also important to develop new interests in things, however small…plant propagation was another thing that kept me interested in life…I can be quite destructive at times but I had a strong desire to create over the three lockdowns.
This body of work is about beauty and chaos. Painted predominantly using indigo ink, this series of paintings looks at our humanity, our perception of the world and our existence within the narrow void between beauty and chaos. Since one can not exist without the other, the impact this has on us every day exposes a myriad of behavioural undulations.
‘The Thinker’ (striped shirt and cigarette) is about the power of contemplation, but its also looking at the void of time we pass through via thought. The moments we analyse what we’ve just seen, or how we work through problems in our minds. I love this space….we spend more time in this space than we would ever think possible.
‘Speak Your Mind’ is purely about fear, its about the inner chaos caused by our fear of self expression. Something most of us are familiar with…Will I be judged if I speak up about something? There is only one of us, if we choose to suppress our voices…that moment will be lost forever. The growth exploding from her mind is what she wants to express, and what she values the most.
Absolutely everywhere, its never been a single source for me throughout my whole career. If you can’t take influence from everything and everywhere, you’re not open enough as an artist. Being an artist is about responding to the world around you, and within you, after all.
I still love painting on paper so thats my surface, I like using 2b pencils to mark out what Im going to paint, then I go straight on with multiple layers of Indigo ink. I’ve found a lot of joy in limiting my colour palette lately, so Indigo is now the basis for 80% of my paintings these days.
Hate to say it, but I’m never ‘uninspired’…because of the reasons two questions previous! But…what I do have to be careful about, is making sure I’m looking after myself, my body and my mind…so that I can continue to be productive. The looking after yourself thing has always been a tricky one for me.
I love box frames, because I don’t like the glass anywhere near the artwork, it looks more special in a box frame too. I’d love to see one of my pieces in an indigo stained/painted timber frame…that could look beautiful.
However, I’d normally just use a black stained, narrow faced timber box frame with Art Glass. You cannot go wrong with that spec.
I think the indigo blue requires space around it, its that kind of colour and that kind of subject. If it were me, I’d always display three indigo prints/paintings in a line or cluster. I have three pieces coming soon via The Print Club so thats what I’d do.
Regarding pairing with other works…I’d select pieces that are close in the colour spectrum, so from deep indigo blue, I’d look at Purples into Reds or Teals into Greens. I love ‘complimentary or opposite’ colours but I wouldn’t create a colour war with these particular pieces. Our lovely customers will of course be allowed to do what they like as its their walls.