Meet The Dude: Scott McDuffee!
Scott is sporting the Pendleton Westerly Sweater made famous in the 1998 film, “The Big Lebowski” while in front of his planetary painting, recently exhibited in NYC.
Pictures by Robert Plonka - Photographer Extraordinaire
What Moves the dude?
Starting as a factory worker and evolving to a director of corporate transformation, Scott only recently began his in-depth exploration of Art. Like many of us, he found his creative passion again, later in life. Scott brings the same climbing-the-ladder exuberance, experimental approach, and collaborative nature into Abstract Expressionism. The colors, textures, and gestures in his industrial- and urban-influenced canvases reveal his desire to figure out the rules just well enough to playfully break them. As he lifts other artists and builds community along the way, enjoy the process and journey of Scott’s energetic paintings as well as his new Art Life - one might say Scott has found his Ikigai!
Artist & Detroiter. Two words which are damn surprising descriptions if you were around my first 50 years.
My artistic side has been visible since my early youth, making my own comic books and occasional poems, but that innate kid creativity was soon set aside to feed my hunger for a better life than I had experienced in my trailer park teen years. At 17, I started basic factory work. Through a series of opportunistic moves, enthusiastic self-study, and mentor connections, I eventually graduated to managing multiple factories with hundreds of people, and now I lead transformations in various industries for a large corporation. For me, being able to engage with people and utilize creative processes is hugely important, regardless of industry. A few years ago, attending an abstract workshop with other beginners in Detroit, one of my instructors commented directly to me that sometimes the most real and powerful expressions come from when we don’t think at all and just let go, trusting intuition and process. After having this ‘aha’ moment, there has been no turning back. Now with a big studio, mentors around the country, and multiple Detroit gallery openings, I made the leap into abstract expressionism and reclaimed the Artist.
My industrial pursuits brought me from West Michigan small towns, to suburbia in Texas, then back to the countryside of Michigan. In my corporate role, I travel all over the world, inspired by the views from my window seat, on my way to yet another factory. I need to be surrounded by various cultures, points-of-view, and flavors as well as architecture, arts, and music. Who knows if being born on July 23rd, 1967, on the first day of the uprisings in Detroit and Grand Rapids (my birthplace) influenced my social consciousness but I’ve been an ambassador, advocate, and trainer for inclusion and diversity since my 20s. As a departure from where I grew up, I see distinct advantages to live where all people don’t look and think like me. I’m embraced now by Detroit artists, collectors, and galleries in my new urban environment. I finally made it home, to Detroit.
In my canvases, you can see the influences of Industry, Travel, and Urban Life in the rough forms, textures, and compositions. Typically vibrant and colorful, you can feel the energy and rhythms inspired by the Street Art of my home in Eastern Market. Playfully breaking the rules almost as soon as I learn them, my go-to tools are more likely purchased at the hardware store than the art store. Using art as my organizing philosophy, and bringing along corporate-influencer mojo, I’m excited to take a traditionally solitary pursuit and make it collaborative. As part of the Detroit Arts community through sharing my art, collecting other artists, and most importantly by lifting other artists, my evolution from corporate and small town to Urban Creative is just beginning. Please join me on this journey – Artist & Detroiter.
Getting a late start at Art, I’m not encumbered by traditional art school training. I am just as likely to buy painting tools at the hardware store as the art store. It’s all about the toys when it’s time to play!!!