HF Exclusive: Behind the Scenes with Dave MacDowell

by Ken HarmanPosted on

“I had an impending deadline for 99% Gallery’s first group show entitled “The New Order”, with about a day and a half to deliver a cool piece. Instead of my usual complicated blast of pop culture madness, I wanted to keep it fast and simple with a forest scene. The “Big eye girl in the woods” has become a popular motif in the Lowbrow movement, so I figured I’d do my take on the genre.”

Hi-Fructose favorite Dave MacDowellgives us an exclusive look into the creative process for his latestpiece, “My Beloved”. Check out the behind the scenes and step by stepcommentary, as well as the completed piece, below.

“My main goal was having the cloudy circus background to recede from the darkened neutral foreground. I wanted the main action in shadow, as if we were viewing something personal and private. With the influence of Fragonard’s atmospheric perspectives and Bambi’s water colory moody backgrounds, the forest’s beauty would bring interest and contrast to what this girl is actually doing. My only concern was the ghostly mouse hovering on her side. It fulfilled a compositional problem, but would it be a distraction to the narrative. Would it make the proceedings a bit too surreal?”


“A few hours into the piece, and the main light sources are established. She’s now anchored in our main focus, and wanted that cloud above her head to look 100 miles away.”

“Once the trees framed and enclosed our action, I figured we were home free. I sugar coated our ghost mouse issue by making him as subliminal as possible. The narrative is vague enough to take at face value. I always loved the “Frankenstein” theme. How we play God and ritually hold on to our pasts. Does she usually drink 40’s and get naked at gravesites? I’ll leave those answers up to the Art Gods.”

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