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Elspeth McLean on Dotillism and the Power of Art Therapy

Artist Elspeth McLean at Work

You may not have heard of her… yet. Elspeth McLean is a painter who is using her art to not only lighten her own heart but to do hopefully the same for others. One dot at a time.

She calls her style of painting “Dotillism.” Using acrylic paint and a paintbrush, she creates vibrant, colorful, and intricate pieces of art composed of patterns of dots. The designs can be made into logos, hang beautifully on café walls, be the centerpiece in an art gallery, or be a treasure in your home.

McLean, as per her artist bio, draws influence from mythology, seasons, ancient art, and more. As the bio explains, she finds painting dots to be a meditative experience and makes it the focus of her life. “Through her art she hopes to connect people with their inner child and to bring some vibrancy and joy to their lives.”

Such a focus is Dotillism in this female artist’s life that she has earned a Diploma in Art Therapy. Research supports the many benefits of art therapy; the creative process improves mood and the physical as well as mental well-being of a person. In the case of Elspeth McLean, the benefits are for  both painter and recipients of her work.

The joyfulness that I see in her works captivated me when I saw them and made me smile. I found her Mandala Stones on her website and loved the detail as well as the style. So imaginative! It’s much more interesting than my pet rock! Seriously, though, talk about giving back to the earth, which is already so naturally beautiful.

Dotillism artist Elspeth McLean
A recent creation by artist Elspeth McLean.

Inspirational Elspeth McLean has a local connection to me as she resides in the same province as I. She is on Saltspring Island, British Columbia, while I am on Vancouver Island. I checked her Instagram page and it looks like she is also living in New Zealand. She is proudly a one-woman business, just like me!

I hope you find her colorful Dotillism creations as lovely as I do. I cannot imagine looking at one of her works and not feeling uplifted in the mood by the bright colors and the thoughtfulness behind it. I also love knowing that she finds a calming benefit in each creation; to me, knowing that tidbit adds value to each finished product.

~Wishing you a day washed in bright color,


35 thoughts on “Elspeth McLean on Dotillism and the Power of Art Therapy”

  1. What an incredible post, Christy. Elspeth is the perfect example of how the arts can touch us and heal us. We will be sharing this post in hopes of inspiring others to visit her website & see her beautiful art!! ;) xo

  2. Elspeth’s work is marvelous! She possesses a lot of talent & patience. Arts & the crafts that one utilizes to realize beauty & then share it is definitely therapeutic & beyond!
    Christy, you must feel joy from many sides when you finish a poem & then share it with all of us who enjoy & gain from them.
    On another hand, if you need to beef up you pet rock, perhaps I can design & craft a swash buckling chapeau for it! :-) xo

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Oh yes, a chapeau for the pet rock!! Ahaha I am laughing at your comment here, sweet Resa :D Thanks for the uplifting comment!

  3. These are so beautiful Christy.. I went along to her web-site and loved her work… Many thanks for sharing her.. I had not heard of her. Her style is reminiscent of the Indigenous Aboriginals of Australia ..

    Art is great therapy, and it helped me greatly when I needed it to calm my nerves many years ago after my breakdown.. :-)

    Lovely to see this post from you Christy.. :-) Hugs Sue xx

  4. Her work is very lovely. I find the little bit of art work I do with Gimp and Inkscape relaxing and it takes my mind off of cares for a bit.
    I have an acquaintance that started a group for abused women. I know she uses art therapy with them. I don’t know much more about it than that. Must work.
    A person/woman doesn’t have to be a great artist/musician/writer to inspire. There was a assistant in a store where I shopped the other day. She was so friendly and helpful beyond what so many are. Smiles and kind words are inspiring and can achieve so much. They are contagious. :)

  5. This is such a wonderful kind of art. It must take a lot of patience and concentration to do, creating dot for dot, starting from something small and building up into a big great pattern, picture and story. Lovely and beautiful :)

  6. Simply amazing, and cheerfully tranquillising in its effect on the viewer. A true artist discovers h(im)erself in apparently insignificant materials to create wondrous works of art. Looking at Elspeth’s creations, involving high precision and tremendous dedication, one is awestruck at the latent beauty in something as trivial as beach stones. Kudos to the artist and thanks to you for blogging about it.

  7. Very interesting art Christy, I didn’t know this ‘Dotillism’ technique existed, other than the pointillism the impressionists used. It looks very decorative and cheerfull.

    1. Hi Carol, Our mission is to bring people together to create a vibrant and healthy community. Christy I hope you don’t mind me sharing this. Take care and thanks for your efforts.

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