After living in Ohio and West Virginia for a time after college, Marianna McDonald returned to Kentucky to live in Lexington in 1977. She received her BS in painting and graphic design at Murray State University in 1971. Starting with oils and watercolors, McDonald eventually began using soft pastels in 1982 and has focused on her work with that medium ever since. The majority of her work is her impression with landscapes, interested in light and shadow as it falls across the land. In addition to her painting, McDonald participates in twelve outdoor art fairs a year, and she teaches pastel classes to adults.
McDonald states, "I create images from actual places preferring to use nature's information and inspiration for my resource. I believe a landscape artist should paint the area the artist knows intimately. The Appalachian landscape is so variable and beautiful that I never tire of depicting scenes from Kentucky and West Virginia. I paint what I see, but distill the details of nature to focus on the essence of the landscape, adjusting the color to emphasize the light and shadow. I hope the viewer connects to the sense of place that attracted me to the scene." (From the artist's website)
Canaan Valley Path. Pastel. 37 x 29 in.