Featured Artist Marci McDonald

The beautiful, fluid and colorful acrylic paintings of Marci McDonald draw the viewer in to another world. To see more of her work, please visit her website.


Unfolding From Emptiness - 2

“Unfolding From Emptiness – 2″ Acrylic on Canvas, 48″ x 36”


What I like best about these paintings is that they’re different than anything I’ve done before.


As It Grows

“As It Grows” Acrylic on Canvas, 48″ x 60″


They represent a profound shift in the way I work, in the way I look at the things that inspire me, in the way I think about my art, in the way I feel about myself as an artist.


Dawn is Still Dark

“Dawn is Still Dark” Acrylic on Canvas, 52″ x 48″


Coming back from a difficult period of transition and loss in my personal life, I felt an overwhelming need for a big change in my artist life. At precisely the right time, I read an interview with extraordinary abstract painter Bassmi Ibrahim, in which he said that it is the responsibility of every serious artist to create new beauty in his or her lifetime. Beauty as yet unseen, and unique to the artist. A lofty goal!


Breathing In

“Breathing In” Acrylic on Canvas, 16″ x 20″


These paintings are me acting on the impact those words had – me moving away from a lifetime of representational imagery to a place where my aim is to translate inspiration into beauty that is more from my spirit, with more drama, and with more mystery. By far the most difficult thing I’ve ever undertaken as an artist.


Joy Follows

“Joy Follows” Acrylic on Canvas, 60″ x 48″


It wasn’t dissatisfaction with my imagery that led me to this change, but frustration with my meticulous, illustrator-ish methods.


Painting in Progress

Painting in Progress


The way I’m working now lends itself to a grander scale, mixing big batches of very fluid pigments, and getting the paint onto big canvases in all kinds of wonderfully liberating ways.


The Eternal Process of Return - 2

“The Eternal Process of Return – 2″ Acrylic on Canvas, 48″ x 36”


I’m trying to think less when I paint – not easy having been a printmaker and then a precise painter, always starting out with a very refined line drawing, and slightly less refined plan for color. I want what I do now to happen intuitively, and to affect viewers in a purely emotional way.


A Path to All Wonder

“A Path to All Wonder” Acrylic on Canvas, 48″ x 60″


I’m learning. Feeling productive on a daily basis is critical to my happiness, and there are still many days when I just have to suspend my need for that job-well-done fix.


Face to the Sun

“Face to the Sun” Acrylic on Canvas, 30″ x 40″


But when things do come together in ways that allow me glimpses of the otherworldly beauty I’m after – rewards that let me know I’m learning – I’m satisfied for a moment. All the failed attempts and wrestling with the unfamiliar are more than worth it, and I’m happy to be reaching ahead.


Marci McDonald invites you to follow her on Facebook and on her blog.


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  1. Your work is beautiful, fluid and other world and I can completely relate to the feelings that inspired you to take a step away from the rigidity of representational work. I too feel the same kind of frustration and have embarked on a move away in stages from the detailed work that began to bore me. It’s proven to be an important and exciting discovery of my real creativity. Keep up the wonderful work.

    • Hi Cynthia – I went to your website and see that we share an overwhelming connection with animals and the natural world… ALL of my representational work is utterly founded in that and thus in a way felt more ‘expressive’ to me… like it made clear something SO important to me. Have you experienced that as your work changes?

      • Yes Marci I have. Expressive is far more interesting than totally representational work I find. I love the odd random accidental little marks that can happen which give a work character. I like where it can lead me !

      • Oh yes Marci. I love random and accidental marks than happen because I have found it gives my work more character. Depth and layers are interesting because you want to go looking and exploring.

  2. I truly admire your work. Acrylic on canvas seems difficult to achieve fluidity. Do you airbrush?

  3. Hi Martha – One of the things I love about acrylics is the wide variety of mediums etc. that can be added to make it behave pretty much however you want it to (including very fluid) while maintaining stability and permanence. I do use airbrushes for the precise, deliberate curves you can see in the paintings here, but accomplish the big, loose areas using varying amounts of pigment (depending on how opaque I want it to be) mixed with roughly equal parts of water and the thinnest of the mediums… I like Golden Airbrush Medium and Nova Color 235 Novaplex.

  4. Wow…Really cool design. Is it possible to sell your art in our websites?

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