Artist of the Week 25
John MacDonald attended Washington University in St. Louis, where he received a B.F.A. in 1979. Following college, he attended a four month intensive printmaking workshop at the Institute for American Universities in Avignon, France. Returning to the States, he received an M.A. degree in drawing and painting from Purdue University in 1982.
For nearly twenty years, MacDonald worked as both a full-time freelance illustrator and landscape painter. He won awards from Print Magazine as well as having work appear in the Society of Illustrators’ annual show. Since the late 2000’s, he has been painting full time. His paintings can be found in private, corporate, and museum collections throughout North America.
John MacDonald finds inspiration in classical Chinese poetry, holding as much importance to him as the lessons he has learned from great painters like Monet and Inness, whose works he has long admired and studied. The spiritually rich, nature-centric writing of the Chinese poets typify MacDonald’s own interests as a painter, including the discriminating approach to portraying the natural world. MacDonald says, “They could suggest a whole world in four lines of text. That’s what I want to do in my paintings- to convey a real sense of time and place, but say as little as possible by identifying only the absolute essentials. I think Inness did that beautifully. His paintings are abstract yet so suggestive.”
MacDonald sources nearly all of his plein-air imagery within just a few miles of his home in rural western Massachusetts, where ubiquitous woods and streams offer him a daily does of inspiration. “I’ve been painting right outside my studio,” he says. “In the three or four miles around my home, there’s enough to paint for the rest of my life.” MacDonald does expand his subject matter occasionally, however, exploring further such as the seascapes off the West Coast.
MacDonald’s professional memberships have included the Society of Illustrators, the Illustrators Partnership of America, the National Association of Plein Air Painters, the Graphic Artists Guild, and the Oil Painters of America. He is certified through the Creativity Coaching Association as a creativity coach, and brings his coaching experience to his workshops, offering as many as nine workshops annually.
Contact Lily Pad Gallery West for information on pricing and to view additional works by John MacDonald. .
To learn more about John MacDonald, and view his expanded portfolio, visit his website: John MacDonald