Portfolio > More Portfolio

Coastal California
watercolor
18" x 14"
2015
$225
Yosemite scene of foggy/rainy scene
water media
10" x 14"
2015
$375
Bird of Paradise
Watercolor and gouache
20" x16"
2015
$295
Flyfishing
Watermedia
22" x 30"
2015
$825
Vineyards and winery of Napa Valley landscape
Watercolor
11" x 15"
2015
$195
Merced River
Watercolor
21" x 15"
2015
$275
Waterfall
Watercolor
14" x 11"
2015
$195
Cedar trees
Watercolor
14" x 11"
2015
$195
Vineyards and winery of Napa Valley landscape
Watercolor
28" x 36" Framed
2015
$975
Maui Rooster
Watercolor
14" x 18"
2014
$195
Thinking outside the Box
Watercolor
14" x 18"
2015
$195
Napa Valley depicted in all its colors
Watercolor
18" x 15"
2015
Fallen leaves
Watercolor
20" x 24"
2013
$475
Hawaiian Flora
Watercolor
12" x 9"
2013
Cactus
Watercolor
14" x 18"
2013
Small boats
Watercolor
11" x 14"

Lis MacDonald
Watercolors and Watermedia paintings

When I was 6, I received a gift from my grandfather that I still treasure today. It was a box of Caran d’Ache watercolor pencils. They have seen use over the years and travelled with me to numerous countries. Many of the colors have been replaced, but the original metal box is still intact. I loved to draw and color and admired paintings that were done in watercolor. I saw a wonderful watercolor landscape in a magazine; I clipped it and pasted inside the lid of my color pencil box where it still is today.

I took the usual art classes in school as they were required then, but the assignments never caught my imagination. I was admonished in elementary school, because I colored the pictures with vivid colors pressing hard down on the paper with the color pencil. In middle school I remember having to create a mosaic, pasting paper squares to create an image; I was bored beyond belief and impatient to have it done. Once in high school in Montreal my focus turned to science, dreaming of becoming a physician attending McGill University. Loved math, physics and chemistry. My parents, however, anxious to enter the US, finally got their visas and off we went to California.

I ended becoming a nurse working in many areas of hospital nursing for 15 years. I then returned to school and became a Nurse Practitioner with a graduate degree. At one point I was asked to teach a class in physical assessment which I gladly accepted. I soon realized that I was unable to find anatomical drawings of the skeleton to use in class. So I got back into drawing and completed the entire human skeleton and made them into overhead transparencies. Thus I awakened the art spirit within me.

I pursued art, especially everything related to drawing and watercolors and related media. I bought and borrowed books on the subject. Living in San Diego at the time I had access to the classes at the San Diego Watercolor Society. I learned from many artists: Stephen Quiller (color theory), Robbie Laird (painting glowing florals on wet paper), Tony Couch (Principles of design), Gerald Brommer (collage and watercolor), Mel Stabin (plein air painting), Nita Engle (the art of the wash and throwing paint) and Dale Laitinen (simplifying the painting).

My vacations are documented in small travels diaries with pen and ink and watercolors. The drawings are very quick sketches that serve to awaken the memory of the place and time, and are better than photographs.

I continue to learn and experiment with water media. I sketch frequently using primarily pen and ink and do quick value studies before painting a large painting. I continue to use watercolors, but also work with gouache, casein and acrylics, and tried different grounds besides watercolor paper, such as Yupo and wood panel.
I have recently ventured into alcohol ink painting, primarily painting abstract landscapes. Yupo paper (a manmade paper) is perfect for this medium. The alcohol ink paintings have fostered my increased creativity as there is no pre-planning; I allow the inks to blend and gradually develop the design.

Lis MacDonald