Profile of an Artist
Carolyn McDonald grew up in a small town in the countryside of Jamaica. As a child she loved to paint and draw, and has always delighted in the vibrant colours, varied textures and rhythms of the tropics.
She obtained her B.A in Fine Art and teaching certificate in Ontario, Canada. On returning to Jamaica to teach and paint, she had several exhibitions, and was influenced by the rich artistic traditions on the island.
Carolyn then moved back to Canada, making her home in British Columbia where she has continued to teach and paint. Her art is often inspired by her travels and also by the play of light that transforms everyday scenes and landscapes into special and imaginative interpretations.
Her paintings invite the viewer to fill in the stories of special places that may seem familiar and yet hold a sense of mystery. Her work is distinctive for its bold use of colour, simple shapes and movement.
Carolyn has exhibited in B.C, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. She has given workshops on teaching art to children, and with Art Starts, she works as an artist in the schools. She taught art at high school, college level, and in her studio.
Carolyn now lives at Cherry Point with her husband, has retired from teaching, and is able to devote more time to her art.
"There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain"
~ John Lennon and Paul McCartney
It is the feeling I get when I am in a place that makes me want to paint. This emotional response is what starts me on a painting and is what I want to interpret. As a result, I often stray far from the original idea, the painting takes over, colours, shapes and rhythms assert themselves. I love to play, experiment and change things and so my paintings do not always follow the same rules. I allow myself this freedom, and yet in the end certain aspects of my style seem to come through—I don’t really know how.
Places that inspire me have something to do with people—that have gone before or in the present. The connection that people have to the place is something that I want to convey—either with a figure, an object, a house, a road……and, yes I do love roads and paths that will take us to that place.
I do believe that a work of art must be unique - not only or necessarily, decorative, and I work towards that.