Animals and goddesses flow from Brian Dowdall’s hands when he paints. He is called a visionary artist because he creates compulsively, without any predetermined or specific intention. While some visionaries are visited by the spirits of angels or ancestors, Brian is visited by the spirits of animals and goddesses.
In his youth Brian left his home in Montana to lead a vagabond life. He traveled the entire United States, stayed in tents or under the stars, worked odd jobs, met all sorts of interesting characters, and gathered a lifetime of experiences. He was encouraged to take up painting by self-taught artists that he had come to know, and it became his calling.
Brian believes that all creatures have souls, and that it is the spirit of an animal that pours itself through him and into his work. Goddesses speak to him because of his reverence for them, as they were the transporters of life in ancient cultures. He doesn’t like to see things go to waste, so if he can find some left over house paint and an old pizza box to paint on, he is happy.
For a time Brian settled on a Florida beach and began to play in the sand. Sand on old paper bags began to look like animal spirits and became his new medium. The dark sand in some of the paintings comes from his native Montana. Today he lives in Baltimore where he is represented at the American Visionary Art Museum.