Elspeth McLean paints with dots.

One dot at a time: A soulful journey

Elspeth McLean's world of art based on the simple little dot

Elspeth McLean’s home is a reflection of her personality — bright, colourful and full of life. Paintings, fabrics and bits of travel memorabilia adorn the walls and surfaces, reminding one of a gypsy caravan. The window where her work surface is overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca and this is where she draws her inspiration. The distant Olympic Mountains are the backdrop to the forests and beaches she has come to love and paint.

Born and raised in Australia, McLean brings a down under influence to her work. She paints dots, millions of them. Those dots become mandalas, landscapes and night skies.

McLean transferred her skills from pen and ink to the more complex and intricate dot work she now specializes in. Her work can be described as pixilated, pointillism or just plain dots. She prefers the dot description. Her work also bear a resemblance to Australian aboriginal dot paintings,Tibetan mandala sand paintings and Impressionism.

She loved the actual process of painting millions of dots and creating an image. She finds it relaxing.

“I enjoy it, it’s time consuming. I like anything intricate and detailed.”

A piece measuring 20X20 inches can take upward of 50 hours to complete. It’s one dot at a time.

McLean, also known as Elspeth Dobres, is married to Sooke musician Adam Dobres. They met on-line and when Adam came to Australia on tour with Toni Childs they met up and the rest is history. McLean immigrated to Canada two years ago and has fallen in love with the West Coast. She misses the warmth and her friends in Australia but she is content with her life in Canada with Adam.

 

Her art background includes going to a special art high school. She studied psychology and art therapy and traveled to places far and wide.

While large gallery exhibitions have eluded her, she has had market stalls and has exhibited in New Zealand. She does lots of random things to get her work out there and sells online through Facebook and Etsy, at music festivals and wherever she can. She will be at the Moss Street Paint-In on July 20 selling her art and demonstrating her technique.

In her work she is very focused and in the moment.

“Each dot is a decision, a choice, they are mindfully put there.”

She starts with an idea and then interprets it into her own style. She calls it a soulful journey.

“I have lots of dreams or from meditation and these flow through into my art works,” she said. “I’m very influenced by my surroundings.”

She loves beach combing and when she’s out there she fills her pockets full of rocks. These tumbled, smooth stones become mandalas – little treasures from nature.

“Mandalas are used in art therapy,” she said. “They are a window into the soul and a safe contained space.”

These days McLean is the resident artist at Shirley Delicious. Her work is selling, especially the ones with trees and familiar West Coast landscapes. She said it’s inspiring to have people enjoy her work and urges her on her artistic journey.

“With my art I’m always looking for new things, always looking for the next thing.”

For more information go to: www.elspethmclean.com.

Just Posted

Sooke’s First Nations have Iroquois links

References to the proud Iroquois race tend to make one think of… Continue reading

Famed Syrian artist displays paintings created while living in refugee camps

Farid Abdulbaki’s ‘Between Two Worlds’ exhibit will be displayed May 24-26 in Victoria

Mighty Garage Sale offers boost to Metchosin groups

Metchosin Community Association holds annual sale on May 25 and 26

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Most Read