Artist Spotlight Series: Scott McMonagle
I am excited to introduce you to a multi-hyphenate that has crossed my path in such a small world way.
We have children that are friends from summer camps and TCU. We have summer homes near each other and have never met.
I am in awe of his brilliant use of color and bold creations.
Enjoy getting to know my latest Artist Spotlight Series featuring…
What is your training?
A bird makes flight look easy, because that’s what it was born to do. Guess I feel the same way about art and design. I was crazy about art throughout high school, but majored in biology and chemistry in college (long story). That led to medical school and eventually residency training in radiology – a perfect marriage between problem-solving and visual cues. Thinking with my eyes as I interpret CT scans and MRIs has been a dream job. I also feel like my “day job” complements my art. I don’t have any professional art training, but I like to say that my profession has taught me how to see.
What inspires you and your designs?
I’m inspired by the process, the colors, and decision making. I love the moment beforehand, never fully knowing how the next color is going to look or feel. The thought that a color or idea can affect people so fiercely is really overwhelming. Art for me doesn’t reach your brain, it reaches somewhere deeper. I try to explore thoughts and emotions from a color standpoint. Making art is always a great time to think and reflect.
What is your favorite piece?
One of my favorites is a huge commission that I just finished, “Running Down a Dream.” I love the enormous scale and all of the color relationships.
How has your area influenced your work?
My wife and I are both originally from Texas, but we’ve lived in Norfolk, Virginia for the past 15 years – surrounded by blue rivers and cool green foliage. It’s easy to be inspired by the colors, shadows, and reflections; they’re everywhere you look around Norfolk.
What is your favorite restaurant in Norfolk?
We are Tex-Mex food snobs – not an easy predicament in Virginia. We love Luna Maya.
What is your favorite cocktail?
My favorite go-to drink is an Old Fashioned – clean, sweet, and tough to beat.
How do you balance personal life and work?
This is a hard question since it always seems to be somewhat of a juggling act. Loving my full-time radiologist “day job,” I paint whenever I get the chance. That usually ends up being late at night on weekdays or early in the morning on weekends. Time with my wife and three girls is always a priority. I use painting to decompress and unwind.
Any day in Cabo is a good day. Our family has a house in Cabo and we try to make it there a few times each year with friends or family.
I’d love to do a huge mural for a hotel or restaurant or museum, the kind of piece that takes your breath away as soon as you walk through the door. Go big or go home.
Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
A bottle of Blanton’s single barrel bourbon whiskey.
Who is your style icon?
In my head, I’m thinking of something classic like Robert Redford. In reality, it’s probably my wife and three daughters. They’re always well-dressed and honestly have bought me pretty much everything that I’ve got.
Your favorite up and coming artist?
So many great and inspiring artists. I could go on forever. The ones I draw inspiration from most regularly are LeeAnne Wright,
and Kate Thomas.
What is your most treasured possession?
My dad passed away unexpectedly about a year ago. He’d digitized hundreds of hours of home videos and thousands of family photos. They’re all downloaded on the cloud and are great to scroll through – memories made real.
What are you reading?
I’m an Audible junkie – listen to a book or so each week. Love non-fiction authors like Malcolm Gladwell, Bill Bryson or David McCullough, pensive bestsellers like Fredrik Backman, and deep thinkers like C.S. Lewis. My youngest daughter and I just finished the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.
I’m halfway through “Think Again” by Adam Grant
and “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” by Emmanuel Acho – both are excellent!
What are you listening to?
Love music! Most of my paintings are named after the song I was listening to while I painted. Favorites include Bon Iver, The National, and Lord Huron. With three girls, I’d be lying if I didn’t mention Taylor Swift too.
What are your favorite blogs / publications?
I try to read through the New York Times each morning. I love home blogs, always daydreaming about the next project around our house. One of my recent favorites is The Potted Boxwood and Architectural Digest is a long term fav. I love Instagram and spend way too many hours scrolling, seeking artistic inspiration.
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