John McDonald in his artists studio working with artwork and materials in the studio

Studio Chat with John McDonald

Wed, 22/12/2021 - 12:47

Tell me a bit about yourself/business/practice?
I am primarily a portrait artist and I tend to do fairly large statement pieces.

What are you currently grappling with in the studio?
I am currently working on three or four separate paintings, all in oil and portraits. All very different but chosen for the challenges that they bring.

Do you have any rituals in the studio, what are they?
I work with my door open. And I must put on my painting smock or apron, I find it difficult to not have my favourite stuff with me, especially aprons. I do however always carry a metal pencil sharpener at all times.

What’s your preferred medium/what do you work with?
I love oils...

What do you have planned for future work?
I have many plans and it usually includes working with other people, I like to give artists a platform to showcase their work. I have started to put on one night only exhibitions with Ale, Art and Music. But my main aim is to keep painting large bodies of work that has something to say.

Who/What Inspires you and your work?
The passion to succeed as an artist, to get better as an artist. Being able to share and encourage others and watch their development.
The image of Christ, Frida Kahlo... Pride

Do you have any helpful resources/advice that you would recommend to other artists and makers?
Proportional dividers... Just found them this year, they are a god send. Advice, work hard to the point of obsession, make goals, and reach them. Reach for the stars, we get here by dreaming.

Which guests would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?
Cleo Rocos, Frida Kahlo, Judy Chicago, Toyah, Kate Bush, Tracy Emin, Debbie Harry, my mum and dad.

If you weren’t an artist and could choose any career, what would it be?
Actor

What have you celebrated this year, personally or professionally?
I turned 60... I bought two motorbikes... My work is now sold on license and it’s been my biggest year as an artist.

You can find out more about John on his website and follow him on Facebook

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