Intricate Artwork made up of Dots and Resplendent in Vibrant Colours

Artist Elspeth McLean grew up in the picturesque hills of Western Australia. As a child she would immerse herself in the beauty of nature that surrounded her, and something in her heart told her she’d always grow up to be an artist. Drawing inspiration from the natural world, Elspeth creates Dotillisms – sprawling scenes made up of vibrant dots of colour. It’s also a playful allusion to the pointillism movement.


Elspeth has since switched the west coast of Australian for that of the equally-beautiful Canada where she lives with her musician husband. “The move has provided me with so many amazing experiences,” Elspeth tells us. “Travel is a big part of my life and is integral to the inspiration behind my artwork.”

Elspeth’s pieces require fastidious care, with layer upon layer of colour applied to achieve the vivid, effervescent effect of her dots, which could easily be bubbles of nature’s raw energy. As well as her popular Mandala Stones, Elspeth also applies her work to a range of products and accessories.

She was keen to share some further insights:

The Plus: How would you describe your artistic style?
Elspeth McLean:
My art was coined “dotillism” by someone at an Art Gallery. My art doesn’t necessarily fall into any art category one would have heard of before- it is not Pointillism nor is it traditional Aboriginal dot work. I tell people that instead of brush strokes, I use dots to create a painting. Some paintings are abstract and created as mandalas, while others depict scenes from nature.

TP: What do you do whilst working on an artwork?
Depending on what I’m mood I’m in depends on what I surround myself with while I’m painting. Sometimes I like listening to music. When it is raining I like to turn all music off so that I can hear the pitter patter on the tin roof. However, I actually really love painting with people around me. I love having conversations while I’m painting and the company is lovely.

TP: You seem to take a lot of inspiration from nature, why do you think it’s so endlessly fascinating for artists?
Nature is the greatest artist there is. As nature is constantly changing and unpredictable one will never witness the exact thing twice. I draw a lot of my colour combinations from nature and after 10 years of painting I still find new colour inspiration every week. Also, as nature is something that everyone can relate to and experience, for an artist it creates a strong connection between them and the viewer.


TP: Your work is so colourful…what would you do if you became colour-blind overnight?
That is one of my nightmares! Or becoming blind or losing the use of my right hand. I know that if something like this were to happen I would find the strength in me to overcome it and channel my inspiration elsewhere. As I just love the joy of creating, if I were to become unable to continue creating the style of art I create now, I would turn my attention to other activities. I would probably go into pottery as I love how tactile and malleable it is.

TP: Do you have any new ventures or series coming up that you’re excited about?
I always have several projects up my sleeve or on my “to create” list. Within the next year I hope to put out a book (or two) featuring my art. I will also be creating the album artwork for my husband’s first solo record which will start production in a few months. I have a bit of travel loosely planned for the beginning of next year which I’m sure will inspire a series of paintings.