Chrissie McDonald

Location

Mount Eliza, Australia

Preferred artistic medium

Drawing, Illustration, Painting, Photography

Art level career

Emerging

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Artist statement

My mother was a prolific artist but I never wanted to be like her. By default I became a Secondary Art teacher. Overtime I grew to love it. I always have drawn but never seriously. The commitments of a large family and teaching full time thwarted any ambition of doing much art. 
When I retired five years ago I started painting. I wasn't sure if it was what I wanted to do but it has become a passion. I don't need to earn a living from my painting. It is pure luxury.
My mother said she painted best when she was depressed. But I paint best when I am happy and focused. Sometimes when painting I feel I am applying paint like my mother. It is though I am channeling her. I don't believe in that sort of spiritually so it must be from watching her throughout my childhood.
I need to paint works that have a theme with message or meaning. I am currently working on two. The first theme is focusing on the my family’s ancestors who arrived in Australia on the First and Second Fleets as convicts and later settled in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains NSW and North East Victoria. My second theme is focused on the impact of colonization and climate change on our Natural Systems. Interweaved through these two themes is the terrible trauma inflicted on Aboriginal people from colonization and subsequent governments.
My messages are subtle within my works and will often need an explanation to unpack.
I am exploring a variety of styles and techniques and painting realistically but not photorealism. My photography informs my work but it is a juxtaposition of many images with elements of imagination. Landscapes and figurative work are my dominant genres. My studio was a child’s bedroom, so relatively small, but I can still paint large canvases and run small painting classes in it. I work with acrylics and when I draw I use many materials. On holidays I will work outside.