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Doug McNamara
updated: 06/07/2013
website: systematist.blogspot.com
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
dimensions
Click thumbnails for full view:
 
pink creatures
untitled
untitled
Little Debbie
Anxiomusa wheel
untitled
untitled
untitled
untitled
untitled
untitled
untitled
cell
particle rings
Alga-Nema acetate stacked 2
 
Portfolio Keywords:  diagrammatic, biomorphic, illustration, information, pattern, science, repetition, organic
 
 
pink creatures by Doug McNamara
pink creatures
ink and watercolor on denril
2010
12 " x  9 " 
untitled by Doug McNamara
untitled
Ink on denril
2008
17 " x  14 " 
untitled by Doug McNamara
untitled
ink and watercolor on vellum
2008
22" x  29" 
Little Debbie by Doug McNamara
Little Debbie
ink on vellum
2007
14 " x  12 " 
Anxiomusa wheel by Doug McNamara
Anxiomusa wheel
ink on vellum
2009
20 " x  20 " 
untitled by Doug McNamara
untitled
ink on paper
2008
17 " x  14 " 
untitled by Doug McNamara
untitled
ink and color pencil on vellum
2008
11 " x  8 " 
untitled by Doug McNamara
untitled
ink on denril
2008
17 " x  14 " 
untitled by Doug McNamara
untitled
ink on paper
2007
14 " x  17 " 
untitled by Doug McNamara
untitled
ink and watercolor on vellum
2007
7 " x  10 " 
untitled by Doug McNamara
untitled
ink on paper
2008
17" x  14" 
untitled by Doug McNamara
untitled
ink and watercolor on vellum
2008
11" x  11" 
cell by Doug McNamara
cell
ink on vellum
2008
17" x  14" 
particle rings by Doug McNamara
particle rings
ink on denril
2010
17" x  14" 
Alga-Nema acetate stacked 2 by Doug McNamara
Alga-Nema acetate stacked 2
ink and watercolor on acetate
2013
11" x  8.5" 

Artist Statement
I am interested in drawings that convey information. I like the feeling of looking at an illustration and understanding the basic flow, sequence, or layout, even if the subject matter is entirely unfamiliar. Diagrams sacrifice complexity for information, and sometimes sacrifice accuracy in order to fulfill the single purpose of focusing the viewer on particular bits of information. Stephen Jay Gould, in defense of artistic liberties, said we should consider scientific illustrations "foci for modes of thought", as opposed to literal representations.

The desire to draw something beautifully or skillfully is often at odds with the conveyance of information. Albertus Seba's entire 17th-C. collection of natural curiosities was nearly discredited after several nature plates he commissioned turned out to have swapped body parts between species or, in some cases, represented fictional creatures altogether. Despite the beauty of these drawings, their content was key to their popularity--they introduced people to a variety of living creatures that tested the limits of credulity.

I am interested in the decisions made by traditional scientific illustrators, often field scientists whose artistic skills were developed by necessity on location. While the goal is to portray some aspect of a process or organism accurately, the practice of rearranging non-diagnostic features to make a drawing interesting or beautiful is well within the norm, though accuracy is sometimes sacrificed. In the tradition of single-purpose diagrams, I try to use the vernacular of 19th and 20th-C. textbook diagrams and nature plates to make something interesting and credible.

Artist Bio / CV

Doug lives in Brooklyn and has published work in art and literary journals, including:

2011 Specs 4: "pinkfish" (1 page)
2008 Esopus 10: “Doug McNamara’s Biodiversions” (16 pages)
2008 Meatpaper 2: “Quality Control Systems in the Meat Industry” (1 page)
2007 Jubilat 12: “Portfolio” (8 pages)
2007 No One Can See Themself in You by Matthea Harvey (Illustrated Chapbook)