Today we’d like to introduce you to Carolynda Macdonald.
Carolynda, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My life’s journey towards being a full-time painter hasn’t been straightforward. Although I spent a lot of my childhood drawing and painting, I was encouraged to put this aside and concentrate on getting the grades to study medicine or science. I worked for many years as a medical microbiologist, but throughout this time made sure I took evening classes in life drawing, stained glass, and printmaking. Happily, the latter enabled me to meet my husband and painter, Alan Macdonald, as he was a friend of my teacher. Through Alan’s encouragement, I stopped working as a scientist and set myself up as a stained glass artist in London, where we lived for many years, and where our son, Rory, was born. Once we moved back to Scotland some sixteen years ago, I began to paint again and tried to find my own voice as I explored various ideas and subject matter. Now I really feel that I am expressing myself on a deep level through my work, and it is wonderful to have a studio next to Alan’s so we can exchange thoughts, give and receive encouragement. We are also delighted that Rory has studied Art History and engages with our work, bringing youthful energy and enthusiasm to enrich not only our personal but also our creative lives.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I paint with oils on linen for the larger pieces or on board for the smaller works. I have come to realize that my paintings are areas of quietude in which I want to find myself. They are spaces reminiscent of daydreams, providing solace for the soul in this increasingly busy and confusing world. My works are usually inhabited by one or more birds, still-life elements, and with a landscape acting as a backdrop. The landscape often has a large body of reflective water, implying the stillness of twilight, which is integral to the whole and provides a tranquil space to retreat into.
The most recent works are imbued with an other-worldliness as the birds’ plumage takes on the patterns and textures of porcelain, fabric, or even tattoos. In these parallel worlds, such as in ‘Theatre of Forbidden Dreams’, the creatures, for me, celebrate freedom to express themselves beyond the frontier of reality. They speak to me of secret desires by means of a mysterious language, revealing fragments of an inner and subconscious realm, which may be about my own creative journey. Perhaps too, the birds symbolize the transient nature of inspiration and the ideas that come to roost in the mind.
Hopefully, people will take away pleasure and intrigue from viewing my paintings, which will only increase my sense of wellbeing from finding a way to return to my creative roots and produce this work.
The stereotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
As an artist, you have to keep believing in yourself, and in the end, something will come good. It is the energy in a work of art that makes people want to buy it, so your task as the artist is to infuse as much energy into your work as possible. Financial worries can be turned to your advantage if you use it to motivate yourself into positive action.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Several of my paintings are currently on show at the Kilmorack Gallery, Near Beauty, Inverness-shire, Scotland.
- Website: www.carolyndamacdonald.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @carolyndamacdonald
1. ‘Theatre of Forbidden Dreams’ (2018) 36” x 55” Oil on linen
2. ‘Waiting for the Echo’(2018) 16” x 14” Oil on board
3. ‘Lagoon’ (2019) 13” x 12” Oil on board
4. ‘The Ghost of Billy the Kid’ (2019) 10” x 9” Oil on board
5. ‘Night Hawk’ (2019) 10” x 9” Oil on board
6. ‘Seeing is Believing’ (2019) 24” x 20” Oil on board
7. ‘Spirit in an Ethereal World’ (2018) 36” x 33 “ Oil on linen