Tag Archives: doug patterson

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.

Doug Patterson ‘Making a Sun on Earth’ exhibition Cornerstone Arts

Doug Patterson is one of three artists involved in a new exhibition, ‘Making a Sun on Earth’, who have collectively been inspired by nuclear fusion – the quest to emulate the power of the stars for a new energy source. Alongside Doug’s paintings, the exhibition will display the work of two photographers, Alastair Philip Wiper and Tim Jones. The ‘Making a Sun on Earth’ exhibition is the result of the three artists spending time as artists in residence at The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.


The ‘Making a Sun on Earth’ exhibition is at Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot, from 10 March to 26 April 2015.

Doug Patterson’s paintings of JET, the large European fusion experiment at Culham, are part of his ‘Sacred Places’ project. Doug has made a series of journeys across the globe exploring his interest in science and religion. Read more about Doug Patterson’s ‘Sacred Places’ project. He has more recently visited ‘temples of science’ – JET, CERN and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway – which he sees as today’s equivalents of sacred places.


Throughout history, men and women have searched to find their Gods in various forms, developing architecture that expressed their spirituality. The 20th century witnessed incredible advances in technology and science, and an architecture has developed which has created its own aesthetic. Working on site on the images of JET, I tried to express in my work the utilitarian spaces and spirit within this modern-day cathedral of science.” Doug Patterson


Making a Sun on Earth
Tuesday 10 Mar 2015 to Sunday 26 Apr 2015
Cornerstone Arts Centre
OX11 7NE

Cornerstone Arts is open 10am – 6pm Tuesday to Saturday, 11am – 4pm Sunday.

On Wednesday 18 March 2014, Doug Patterson is giving an illustrated talk at Cornerstone Arts covering his work in architecture, film and his ‘Scared Places’ project, and his new work with The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.

Doug Patterson, Artist Talk at Cornerstone Arts Centre: Wednesday 18 Mar 2015 6:30pm.

Doug Patterson : new drawings, mountains, volcanoes, and nuclear fusion!

During the last twelve months my artwork has changed dramatically. The shift in subject matter has coincided with a more painterly approach resulting from a series of journeys with extremes of atmospherics, daylight lost in clouds, snow storms and hurricanes.

In November 2013 I spent three weeks on the island of St Kilda, as a guest of the National Trust of Scotland. In march I sailed along the Norwegian coast from Bergen to the Russian border on a cargo boat, and more recently I visited the volcano on the the island of St Vincent in the Grenadines.

In tandem with my travelling, I have been working as the artist in residence at the Culham Centre for Nuclear Fusion in Oxford.

Here, I experienced a star being created in the Tokomat Reactor at temperatures in excess of 150,000 degrees, that’s hotter than the core of the sun. This research project will save mankind.

These projects are all part of an overall project to travel and illustrate twenty sacred places throughout the world, and will form a one man show in London in 2016.