John MacDonald was born in 1957 in Lafayette, Indiana. He earned his MFA from Washington University of St. Louis and a graduate degree in painting and drawing from Purdue University. He studied printmaking in Avignon, France and painting at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson. For over thirty years, John worked as a freelance illustrator and landscape painter. He now focuses soley on painting and teaching. He has taught painting workshops through the Clark Museum of Williamstown, Massachusetts as well as painting classes at Williams College.
John’s paintings are done en plein air and the studio. His works most often show landscapes local to the Williamstown area. The works are rooted in the traditions of 20th century realism, displaying a fascination for light, color and a confident use of brush work.
“My work has always been driven by the joy found in the simple and pure act of artistic creation. Being a full time illustrator, I have no desire spending the limited time in which I create personal work illustrating theories of aesthetics. I enjoy the simple manipulation of color, texture, composition, line and form and continue to be enthralled by the slow, magical appearance of illusory space as it emerges from a two-dimensional surface. My artistic preferences are for a well composed image (Japanese woodcuts being exemplary examples), the use of pattern (Paul Klee and Gustav Klimt being favorites), and the rendering of the illusion of light (painters from Caravaggio to Cezanne).”
He is a certified creativity coach and has been a member of the National Academy of Professional Plein Air Painters and the Society of Illustrators. His paintings can be found in collections throughout North America. He currently lives in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts and exhibits at the.