Artist tells local stories in a new way
A new way to approach and appreciate art has emerged in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which means local artist Wendy McDonald has been busier than ever.
In-person art exhibitions might not be considered until the end of the pandemic, but the continued rise of the digital age has made art easily accessible during times of lockdown.
“There has been a lot of interest and support for the visual arts during the pandemic, and a digital presence has helped,” Ms. McDonald said.
” I’ve always had exhibitions, only in digital form.
So I’ve been really, really busy.
“I’m in the studio whenever I get the chance, but I have to balance that with my professional commitments on the farm and I also have an 11 year old who has done home lessons this year.
“ I always try to have two or three shows a year, and I get a little short of breath when I get to about 15 pieces.
“ I would personally have fewer more thoughtful works, with meaning and history than producing art for fun. ”
A new opportunity also presented itself to Ms McDonald’s during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a textile company took a liking to its work.
“Last year I worked with a textile company, which made designs using one of my paints,” she revealed.
And with Ms. McDonald’s paintings, all inspired by the environment around her in Caldwell, she says that means the beauty and history of the area is visible to all.
Ms. McDonald is a contemporary landscape artist.
The nature that surrounds him at Caldwell is the key subject of his art.
“I’m really lucky to live in a place where the landscape has a story to tell, and I never tire of painting it,” she said.
“ My art tells the story of landscape, water and the impact of water reform on this region. ”
This story is also told in the book “A Painted Landscape: Across Australia from bush to coast”, by Amber Creswell Bell.
Ms. McDonald is one of 50 artists featured in the book, groups under sections called Bush, Farmland, Towns and Suburbs, Mountains, Hinterlands, Rainforest, and Coast.
“Being a farmer has given me a foundation and a balance so that I can continue to develop my artistic abilities,” Ms. McDonald told the author.
“ My daily immersion in this spectacular Australian landscape compelled me to paint it as an expression of my connection to this place.
“I love that the landscapes of Murray River Country are fleeting and stimulating, yet still majestic and representative of the power of nature and the climate and endurance of this ancient land. “
Ms McDonald became involved with the book after being part of a group show with the author, who is also an art curator.
And although the book was released in 2018, it still attracts the attention of art lovers across the country.
It was recently picked up by a local art enthusiast at Deniliquin Newsagency & Bookstore.
We were both in a group show and she was aware of my work, so when she was commissioned to do the book, she approached me.
It is a great honor to have been included.
” The book is an investigation of contemporary landscapes. ”
Coming from a family of creative thinkers, Ms. McDonald said art has always been a part of her life.
“ I have always painted and drawn, and studied art in high school.
“I took a little break from college and studied psychology and education, but after that I was drawn to teaching creative arts.
“ I have painted or taught art in various capacities since then.
“My family are all creative thinkers. My siblings and cousins are all musically gifted, but not me. I channel my creativity in a different way. ”
One of the ways Ms McDonald has combined her love of art and teaching is to organize art camps at the Caldwell property she shares with her husband Peter, but these are hanging in this time due to the pandemic.