They say that that life on the sea shapes many men’s lives beyond the ordinary, and that’s a theory that celebrated landscape artist, Duncan MacGregor could well empathise with as someone who’s days have never been pitched too far away from the coastline and the call of the watery wilds. Enthusiastically describing himself as an experienced and somewhat adventurous sailor, MacGregor illustrious circumnavigating of the seas has provided MacGregor the artist with all the tools required to paint vivid, enticing vistas depicting a coastline for all seasons. Born in 1961, MacGregor spent his youth as far away from the sea in the UK as is physically possible; being holed up in the Midlands. Despite being totally land-locked, MacGregor still made it his business to source the sea at every given opportunity in his younger days and has since gone on to successfully navigate the Atlantic Ocean over an 18 month period, whilst he’s also managed to plot coordinates around Britain’s ever diverse coastline. These days, and when he’s not planning or executing his next sea-based odyssey, MacGregor can be found with his family in a remote part of Norfolk, and not a million miles from the North Sea.
MacGregor’s Boy’s Own adventures on the crests of ocean waves have furnished the artist with a myriad of inspirational, nautical themes from which to plunder at the onset of creating each and every one of his hugely popular compositions, and has essentially contributed in seeing MacGregor installed as the unopposed maritime artist bar none in the eyes of art critics and lover alike. Dramatic skies, enigmatic reflections cast from the sun onto the breakers and waves that gather in its wake, plumes of magnanimous white sails, erected from vessels both large and small all combine to finalise gloriously exuberant visual narratives that portray a sublimely engaging sea and coastal life to all who look out onto it. Cool saturations and hues of blue, green and grey compliment one another with aplomb, and delivered with acrylic flourishes that afford each perspective and dimension with opulent degrees of texture and visible energies. MacGregor’s insistence on visually documenting what he knows understands and clearly loves shines through with an unparalleled radiance in his trademark works that are acutely reliant on the ebb and flow of coastal tides to paint such clearly defined snapshots of (parts of) lives spent at sea. MacGregor himself sums up his life artistic works to date by conferring; "I spend as much time as I can experiencing the power of the sea at close quarters. I am an experienced sailor and it is the ocean which inspires and moves me to capture the energy and joy of what I see and recreate it on canvas."
In recent times MacGregor has chosen to experiment more with his surface choice, rather than individual materials so as to generate different visual effects and foster a different dimension than previously offered through his collective studies. MacGregor has placed himself at the forefront of this movement and within his particular sea landscape-specific genre, and has explored the possibilities thrown up by the application of his tried and tested acrylics on such artistic interfaces as glass and aluminium. Impressed by the end results, MacGregor talks animatedly of the sharp and discerning relief that his compositions are brought into with the advent of glass and/or aluminium the preferred surface area, whilst conversely more vivid colourations are transformed into more muted versions of their former selves. The depiction of the sea is the most telling benefactor in the direct aftermath of this contemporary applicative procedure, with otherwise staid blues and greens reacting and interjecting with the silvers and greys beneath in a decidedly fluid and moving fashion, affording bodies of water a complete new characteristic.
MacGregor’s back catalogue of original works of art have, and still continue to feature prominently in galleries and exhibitions across the UK and further a field, whilst a large percentage of his compositions are housed in private collections.