Scott McDermott is surrounded by art. His home, which doubles as his art studio and workshop, is a century- old masterpiece with a sprawling wrap-around porch, bare wood walls and vaulted ceilings that are filled with paintings, drawings, and books. Even his hairless Sphynx cats seem to be a form of art that roam the house.
Art is McDermott’s life and he claims he’s been an artist since birth: “It’s what I do.” he also has been able to turn his art into a career. “I graduated high school not knowing what I wanted to do,” admits McDermott. After winning the Houston Livestock Show art contest during his junior and senior years, he was invited to attend an art camp at Schreiner University in Kerrville.
“The art teacher was a baseball coach…he took us to see five or six different sides of the industry.” After seeing James Avery make jewelry and a marketing and advertising agency work with a design studio, McDermott realized he could make a living if he expanded his drawing beyond just cows and horses. “It opened my eyes. I could design chairs. That’s art.”
After being accepted to Texas A&M University and University of Texas at Austin, McDermott chose the latter to major in studio Art. “UT had an art school; it was a no-brainer.” After graduating, he landed a job creating art and spent two years making money for someone else before realizing he could turn his talents into a career of its own. He reminisces, “I got skinny for a while, but I managed to tie it all together and get it to work.”
McDermott claims he got a couple of breaks and started getting busy. “Every studio artist wants to paint what they want to paint, and do what they want, but the reality is that you paint what [the customer] wants.” He continued painting, even though it was often not for himself. “I was very prolific in my head,” McDermott claims. He would create whole pieces but never put it to canvas.
It was while searching for a way to create something abstract that McDermott came across a car hood from a wrecked BMW. “I looked at it and it looked like art. I liked the idea of bringing the canvas into the art.”
McDermott’s desire to have plentiful and ready canvases while searching for a way to create something abstract seemed to happen together. “Instead of thinking about it beforehand, I would come to it and let it happen,” comments McDermott.
Layers of paint were usually applied before he felt like it was right. “I’ve always loved patterns,” he says, “repeating patterns… circles and squares.” The combination of geometric shapes and layers of paint creates a unique piece on the car hoods. “Eventually, someone would see it as the hood of a car, but it’s not evident right away.”
McDermott has amassed quite a successful career in his hometown of Bryan. His work was displayed with Art979 at The Village in August 2009 and, most recently, he was invited to have his own show at the SEAD Gallery in Downtown Bryan. His work will be on display at SEAD beginning March 1. “It’s exciting to have a show as an artist,” says McDermott. “It’s mine.”
Even more exciting is the location of his success. “I’ve spent all but six years of my life [in Bryan/college station],” he states. “My heart is here. These are my people.”