Profile

Painting and music have been competing but now increasingly complementary passions in John Donaldson's life. Although drawn by the emotional potential of music, John chose to make his living as a painter. Over forty years his colourful, figurative work has leant more and more towards Impressionism - an art movement that he feels is far from exhausted even after the passing of more than a century.

John's subjects have ranged from his early years' painting on the South Downs, the Ouse Valley and the streets of Lewes - via London's Thames, Cornwall, Devon and Dorset - to a more recent preoccupation with the Midi of France, Brittany, the Cote d'Azur, Liguria and the Italian Riviera.

Today he directs his impressionist tendencies to the portrayal of fleeting light and weather effects. This, together with a general desire for greater spontaneity has meant that he has started to move away from the larger studio pieces towards smaller, more expressive works. These are more akin to the ‘live' studies that he has used to create the studio pictures he is known for. He says, "Over the years, my sketches, studies and field work in general have become more rapidly excecuted and appear more 'abstract' as a result. I suppose the more intuitive and personal marks made as an initial response help me remember not just the details of the subject but the feelings evoked by it."

Aside from choice of subject, John's work falls into three main types.
Sketches, which are usually small and painted quickly on the spot are kept for future reference, although some will be developed into more finished works. These Studies are included in the Gallery of new Works.
Then there are the Studio Paintings which are generally larger and more fully developed.
Thirdly there are what could loosely be termed Abstract Impressions, using abstract in the sense of 'drawn from'.
He explains, "When very familiar with a painted motif, I am often tempted to paint a more free and personal version, drawing from the work I have already done. These Impressions, using lyrical colour and more expressive knife and brush-work are also to be seen on the Gallery of New Works".

Solo Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions

Group exhibition venues have included Melbourne, Seattle, Annapolis, Los Angeles, Bermuda, Harrogate, Brighton and Bristol.