Today’s Featured Artist is Debbie Lamey-Macdonald:
I became interested in drawing at a very young age. My mom said I loved to draw as a preschooler. After I started elementary school, my love for art continued. My mom found the only art teacher available in our rural area and enrolled me in art classes. The age requirement to join was nine years old, but since I was almost nine, I was allowed to enrol. My art teacher had an art education and was very strict. For the first year students had to work solely in charcoal. In the second year we began work in pastels and by the third year students were finally able to work in oils. I remember yearning to work with the oil paints that the older students were using. I remember my excitement when I was finally allowed to use oils. It was a dream come true and a love affair I continue to treasure today!
I believe I have been an artist all my life. Art was my first love! I continued to dapple in my art throughout my teens and early twenties. For practical reasons, I chose to enter the teaching field as a career choice. All the while I continued to move in and out of my art practice until my late twenties. Then after an illness I plunged back into my art while I still taught elementary school. I was not an art teacher, but brought my art practice into my student’s lives. Finally, after 32 years teaching elementary school, I retired in June, 2014 and am thrilled to now have the opportunity to be a full time artist! I am embracing this new journey with great happiness!
Question: What tips can you give that make your work easier?
There are several. First and foremost I highly recommend working from life as much as you possibly can. All my work is either completed from life or has its beginnings from life. My still life work is totally completed from life as my landscape works. The only time I am not working directly from life is when I complete larger landscapes. My references to complete these larger works, are the use of a Plein Air Study I painted on location, color notes I jot down while there and digital images I can refer to for drawing and composition purposes.
Working from life has been my most influential teacher. It creates an emotional response to my subject, as well as informing my use of color and value. The human eye can see far more subtleties in color than our digital cameras. Plus, we have a heart, whereas our cameras do not. When I look at my studies I can often remember the sights and sounds of that day. This was not so, when I use to use photographs as my reference for landscape work.
I am an avid Plein Air Painter! You can’t keep me inside when the weather is warm enough to paint outdoors. I often joke that the great outdoors is my studio during the warmer months of the year.
Question: What materials do use like to use?
A few years ago I started painting on linen and really love this surface. It really seems to compliment my style. For larger work, I will sometimes use stretched canvas. I also started using Rosemary & Co. brushes and love them! I really enjoy both their mongoose and ivory lines. I don’t use a medium, but use a paint thinner sparingly. I am presently using Gamblin, but am just getting ready to order a new organic thinner called “Zest It”. The oil brands I mostly use are Winsor and Newton and Rembrandt. I like their creamy consistency.
Question: What type of work do you create?
I paint both miniatures and larger work. My sizes range from 2x3in. to 24x30in. painted on a linen surface. I paint from life as mentioned, creating both still life and floral/landscape work. My subjects are often a part of my life in some way, whether it be a flower I pick from my gardens or an area I am fond of. My work is emotionally driven, thus the reason for my use of things, area, etc. that have touched my life in some way.
Question: Where can we find your work?
Although I do show my work locally, I have a strong online presence. You can view my work in my online shop at http://shop.lameymacdonald.com
Thanks for taking the time read about my work. I would love to connect with you online.
Thank you Debbie Lamey-Macdonald for agreeing to do an artist feature!
Thank you to all the readers who dropped by today! 🙂
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