Claire McDonald -
Pastel Landscape Artist
Ian & I moved just outside Salisbury in Wiltshire in 1992, married, and now have two (almost) grown up sons. And most importantly, Midget & Mouse, two small Jack Russell terriers.
Out of the blue in 2009 I suffered a debilitating stroke, spending a long time in hospital & undergoing many months of recovery. Major re-evaluation of life followed, my horses had to be sold & I had to accept limitations, learning (with much stubbornness!) a new way of going. Refusing to despair, I tried to concentrate on what I could do & what I had, rather than what I’d lost. I found the whole experience frustrating, infuriating, yet fascinating too.
I decided to take up painting, but had the problem of being fairly terrible at watercolour at school, which was pretty much all there was back then. When studying a familiar pastel painting on the wall at home suddenly a lightbulb went on; the certainty of “I can do that!” struck me and the journey began.
Studying art, the Great Masters who stand beyond all others for me are Turner, Pissarro (hugely underrated) and particularly the landscape of Gainsborough. I lose myself in the National Gallery staring in wonder, trying to understand how they worked with light and colour.
Ian & I particularly love the wild landscape of Scotland’s west coast. My family originate from Oban in Argyllshire, Ian’s family from Inverness & so Scotland is in the DNA & we visit often. The amazing weather creates skies which particularly lend themselves to painting with pastel.
Having always been an outdoors, countryside person, keeping as active as possible is important to me, also maintaining a sense of humour! Living with a stroke can be very difficult but finding a purpose & fulfilment through art has been a great joy. Midget & Mouse insist I go to the woods most days and in all weathers, & happily, inspiration is everywhere.
I hope you enjoy looking at my work on my website.
Most of the art is for sale framed, but for more details please contact me.