Artist Profile - Andrew Mcleod
interview byMeadowlark
ImagesSupplied
Published Thu, 07 May 2020

We met Andrew through our friend James of Jimmy D many years ago and we collaborated with him on a series of interior projects. He made interesting punk patches for us based on ancient iconography. After spending time with the patches and looking closely at the details we realised they would make amazing jewellery!

So we worked with Andrew on a series of rings. Inspired by championship rings in size and shape, we added Andrews ideas on and around the rings, they are some of our favourite designs. We spent some time talking with Andrew about his work and process, he is one of the most interesting people we know so it is with great pleasure we present this interview…

When did you know you were going to pursue art?

I suppose when I was about 9 years old I knew I liked drawing and painting the best and that I was OK at it . But when I was 15 I got more into specifically the painting tradition, painting like at art school or a museum as opposed to comics or illustration.

What are your strongest childhood memories relating to art?

I saw The exhibitions Te Maori and a big (for New Zealand) Picasso retrospective at the auckland city art gallery on school trips.

What mediums do you work with? Which one do you love the most?

Well oil paint is a very articulate a medium it shows the slightest touch or gesture and the interaction on touch and gesture between layers of paint. Its also the most rich and complex way to deliver colour to the eye.
Painters have so many different pigments available to them and they all mix and layer differently. Its so complex.

What is the process from concept to finished painting for you?

1 lots of thinking and dreaming
1b blue sky research into the history of visual culture
1c drawing with graphite or ink
2 digital collage and painting.
3 transfer to canvas with a projector.
4 the hard work at actual painting begins

How would you describe your work?

At the moment in doing kind of ‘ensamble portraits’ ..group of characters , 3 or 4 in each painting.. more references to a Northern European painting tradition.
I value layering a colour.

Who or what inspires you?

It's the history of painting. Its actually a conversation up and down the generations. You just have to learn the language of paint and composition. After that it’s all human stuff emotion , dreams , human experience, it’s the feeling of being a little less alone when I look at someone who manages to put a lot of themselves on the canvas, not just trough the subject matter but utilising everything this type of object has to communicate. A good painting is a very rare thing but I’m at the end of a long tradition (not the culmination) so I get to look back on lots of good paintings.

Which piece are you most proud of? Or which is your favourite piece you’ve created?

The problem is you can’t really tell unless you have the actual paintings in front of you, painting does not work mediated through photography. So .. Im happy about the work I’m doing now . I have finished composing them and are painting them at the moment. As far as the compositions goes I’m quite confidant .
I have just finished editing an anthology of drawings and as a whole I think the book is some contribution the the field.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thanks for the collaboration we did a few years back. I really enjoy dabbling in a bit of design with People who are good at what they do, it’s all fresh and exciting to me and the large audience Meadowlark has is exciting.

Click to view the Andrew McLeod x Meadowlark rings.