Melissa McDougall drew like all children usually draw. Both her parents were artistic; her dad Ewan was taught by Colin Wheeler in the 1960’s and her mother, Suzette, raised her in an artistic environment with books on Surrealism and Modern art.
“Mum’s drawing skills were excellent and she encouraged my creative writing and painting. I was good at writing and art but I enjoyed making a tangible image that others could appreciate. I was always inspired and wanted to learn more. I also had a lot of ideas to implement. I was taught different styles of drawing by my High School art teacher, Trevor Gray. While attending Claremont Art School (1989-91), I took Anatomy drawing at the Anatomy Department at the University of Western Australia. In 1996 I began a three year Bachelor of Fine arts at U.W.A., a course mostly focused on art criticism and history. I was 25 at this stage and had already been exhibiting independently for five years, so I began University late. My mother’s death (aged 53) was probably my biggest life changing event. She had cancer and died when I was 31 and it led me to something of an existential crisis. She was a solo parent during my childhood so we were very close. I became aware how much I had relied on her as a friend and artistic collaborator. I had dedicated my show ‘Love and Shadows’ to her in 1999. The birth of my lovely daughter Charlotte in 2005 did a lot to bring back some optimism to my world, and in 2007 my beautiful son Michael was born. My work began again, this time working parallel to family life.
See more of Melissa’s work HERE