• Douglas Lyell’s Alter Ego

    Date posted: January 4, 2013 Author: jolanta

    dynamic painter


    Courtesy of the artist.


    Douglas Lyell’s Alter Ego
    By Paul Gost

    Douglas Lyell is a dynamic painter, sculptor and poet of great intensity.  He most recently exhibited at Broadway Gallery in Soho.  His work caught my eye as provocative, exciting and full of emotion.

    He goes by the curious moniker, The Boogie Man.  And his most striking work is Hey Ho.  In this piece, two men stand in the forefront, one facing away, against a background of chaos. The ground is a fire of red against a swirling blue and grey sky. In the center, a woman holding a whip sits atop words and symbols of peace and hate. Two black faces sit on either side of her. One smiles while the other frowns – a representation of good and evil. Someone watches the woman from a chair and holds a gun. More guns lie strewn on the ground. UFOs in the background beam up a scary, shadowy figure while another figure makes its way to the foreground.

    In his painting titled The Sea Towards Mullion, thick strokes of dark blue and black streak across the top of the canvas. Under the darkness, softer strokes of white and blue swirl, ebbing and flowing against the dark like ocean waves under the night sky. The white collides with lighter blue that creeps into black – in and out of light as if the day is fighting with the night. The paint smears from thick to thin and up and down. The bottom right corner of the canvas remains dark and untamed, while the left reflects a lighter path of white and grey. The dark sky mixes with the ocean’s shadows.

    Courtesy of the artist.

    In his painting titled Atlantic Avatars, the frothy ocean breaks beneath dark night sky. Different shades of cerulean sea collide with each other before being pulled into a white, foamy undertow. The swirling of waves move down the canvas in heavy strokes before being hurled into the white, trickling from the dark into the light. The blue creeps in and out madly, moving with the powerful tide. The white travels through the center of the canvas before swallowing the blue on either side, as if the waves crash into the earth. The blues bleed together, as the white stands out against the darkness.

    I caught up with Lyell to find out about his work. 

    PG: You’re alias is The Boogie Man.  How and why did you choose this moniker?

    DL: I originally chose this alias as my book reviewer pseudonym at Amazon. I realize that there are probably other Boogie Men online, but I dare say there are few others from the UK. I am aware that I have acquired something of a reputation especially in the UK. It is a BAD reputation. I think that I am more popular in the States and in other European countries. I am a bit like the Gingerbread Man in children’s fables.

    PG: Your work often contains symbolic imagery.  How does this influence the images you create?

    DL: I see meaning where most people just see chaos. I have spent a lot of time meditating; practically everything I see is a symbol to me. The sea is a great symbol of change, movement and time. I love the sea, and I often hear a mordros, the sound of the sea, when I sleep at night in Porthleven, Cornwall. Everything I paint is also a symbol and can be understood on many different levels. When I was in a mental hospital in 1998, I created a lot of drawings using black and white imagery. I wanted to make signs, and I have continued doing so ever since.

    Courtesy of the artist.

    PG: You create paintings, sculptures and write poetry.  What is the connecting element in these 3 mediums?

    DL: I was told by my mother that artists have to learn to draw first. I have found that learning to draw enables one to do many other things. It is surely the most economical and efficient way of becoming an artist. I find that writing poetry helps with my prose writing. I have written a book called “The Boogie Man”; it has been published. I think that if you become proficient in one art form, then that enables you to constructively explore other art forms. I have always wanted to become an artist. When I was seventeen I bought an electric guitar. Perhaps it is music that links everything I do together!

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