Disney-inspired artist's latest show
Wed, 08 Aug 2012 11:11p.m.
By Janika ter Ellen
Wellington painter Rob Mcleod is showing his first exhibition in 20 years at the capital's City Gallery.
He used to work as a high school art teacher and says how Mickey Mouse changed his life.
Rob Mcleod's is having his first exhibition since the 1980s. He's happy to have his mojo back after a long career lull.
“I'm lucky, I think I might be breaking out of it in my mid 60s.”
His paintings are about ageing and stress, heavy themes for an artist whose inspiration came from a Disney character.
Ten years ago he drew some Mickey Mouse ears on a piece of art, a serendipitous moment he credits with completely changing his style.
“Figuration came crashing back into my work. Thirty years of trying hard to be an abstract painter, I became an almost full-blown figurative painter in about three months.
“I’d been fighting this battle for so long, and eventually gave up. And when I gave up, things got better.”
Through the dark years, Mcleod drew strength from his childhood football club Partick Thistle, possibly the worst team to ever compete in the Scottish football league.
Loss after loss, they kept playing, and Mcleod kept painting.
“I've dealt with stupid critics, stupid reviewers. Idiot reviews of my work. You just have to quietly take it and get on with your life.”
Just as long as life doesn't include a return to teaching - Mcleod says he'd rather cut off his leg.
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