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Biography – Gillian McDonald is an acclaimed landscape artist, who specialises in painting the remoter parts of the British Isles. From the Highlands and Islands of Scotland to the English moors and the rugged coastline of Wales, Gillian is to be found seeking out the dramatic landscapes and seascapes which are the subject of her distinctive paintings.
From her home on the north coast of Pembrokeshire, to the remotest shores of the Scottish Highlands, Gillian seeks out the dramatic locations that inspire her romantic, contemporary and atmospheric images. Gillian’s artistry is rich in romance, drama and atmosphere. It evokes isolation and solitude and focuses on the interplay of light and the natural environment.
“My sketchbook is the starting point of it all which is why drawing is so important to me and why I never use a camera. I need the discipline of that intense contact with nature to then move away into invention and discovery, to move away from simple description and into my interpretation in terms of design. I like to take the subject apart and to reassemble it in terms of colour, shape, plane, texture, and line. This is where collage is critical: it allows me to play with the abstract qualities of the North Pembrokeshire landscape so that I am not just representing it but putting it into an arrangement that says what I feel about this amazing place of sea, stones, earth, and man-made marks that come from the very landscape itself . This is my personal take on what I am seeing and how I feel I am evolving as an artist, constantly experimenting and pushing stylistic boundaries in order to render the sensations and feelings I am perceiving into fresh and exciting ways of seeing.”
Coupled with her bold, mixed-media use of colour, these are the hallmarks of her highly sought-after work, brought together as The McDonald Collection. After studying at a London art college, Gillian developed her love for watercolour in Indonesia where she lived for several years before settling in Wales. Since then she has concentrated and built upon this demanding medium and has published over 200 prints in limited edition.
Gillian’s brooding landscapes are rich in atmosphere, evoking a sense of isolation and solitude, and each image is brought alive by her appreciation of the interplay between light and the natural environment. Her innate understanding of the subtleties of different light effects and her bold use of colour are the hallmarks that make for the harmony of her highly collectable paintings and prints.