Doug Patterson : travels in watercolour

Doug Patterson is a renowned architect & artist who, in his own words, says his feet have not touched the ground in the last six years!

However, he is also an artist very much with his feet on the ground – as his recent watercolour sketches demonstrate, revealing a unique insight into the locations, religious communities & styles of architecture that he has encountered on his extensive travels around the world.

Doug Patterson has been on a personal artistic crusade, retracing the journeys made by three 18th and 19th century travelling artists – Hercules Brabazon Brabazon, Vasileios Gregorovic Barsky & Samuel Davis – who between them recorded the three great world faiths – Islam, Buddhism and Orthodox Christianity.

Doug’s journeys in the footsteps of these three artists has included sketching and painting Islamic mosques and monuments in North Africa and India, Buddhist Dzongs in Bhutan and the Orthodox monasteries of Mount Athos and Meteora in Greece. This project, called Artists in Paradise, recently culminated in a well-received exhibition at the National Theatre, London in 2010.

The monastry of Hilandara, Mount Athos © Doug Patterson

Doug has visited Mount Athos in Greece twelve times, walking throughout the holy mountain and visiting all twenty Orthodox monasteries. Doug’s travels in Greece followed those of the artist and Russian monk, Vasileios Gregorovic Barsky, who in 1745 visited Mount Athos and recorded the life, landscape and architecture of the holy mountain. Doug Patterson’s Mount Athos portfolio consists of over 200 artworks, including sketches, water-colours and oil paintings. The Mount Athos series of works were recently exhibited in Saloniki in Greece, the exhibition then travels on to Athens and Istanbul, Turkey.

The Katholica, Hilandara, Mount Athos © Doug Patterson

Between 2005-2007 Doug travelled to Bhutan, the land of the Thunder Dragon, following the route of the artist, astronomer and director of the East India Company, Samuel Davis (1760-1819), who visited Bhutan in 1783. Doug’s Bhutan portfolio is a comprehensive contemporary collection of drawings and paintings of the landscape, life and architecture of all the 20 Dzongs (Buddhist monasteries) of Bhutan.

Jakor Dzong, Bhumthang, Bhutan © Doug Patterson

 

Buddhist Monks in Bhutan © Doug Patterson

Travelling through the region of northern India (of the Mughal Empire), Doug’s next series of paintings and drawings retraced the footsteps first taken by Hercules Brabazon Brabazon (1820-1904) who made numerous journeys recording the architecture of the Muslim and Christian world.

Jama Masjid mosque © Doug Patterson
Gurudwara Bagla Samib, Delhi © Doug Patterson

The first location in this project was the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, India. The journey was by boat from Calcutta via the Hooghly and Ganges Rivers, first to New Farraka and then through the lock onto the River Ganges. We finally docked in Patna then went by road to Bodhgaya, finally to arrive at the most sacred Buddhist site, the Mahabodhi Temple, culminating in an intense spiritual experience. The various artworks illustrating this particular journey are now complete.

You can listen to Doug Patterson talking about the ideas & inspiration of his earlier travels on BBC Radio 4’s travel programme, Excess Baggage.

Doug Patterson trained at the Royal College of Art, then studied Architecture at the Architectural Association, graduating in 1974. He established his own architectural design practice and has spent the last twenty five years working on a wide variety of projects, ranging from film sets to a 28-suite luxury yacht. You can view his comprehensive art portfolio on Doug Patterson‘s own website.