Born in Louisville, KY, Marianna McDonald started painting in oils as a teenager. Her summers were often spent on a five generation family farm in Randolph County, WV, where Marianna fell in love with the land and with walking its hillsides and valleys. When asked why she prefers painting landscapes Marianna responds, “As long as I can remember, I’ve loved the land, especially open areas with little interference of human activity. These places represent unrestricted freedom and solitude. By emphasizing light, shadow, and expressive color with pastels, I hope to give the viewer the experience of connecting with these places.”
McDonald has a degree in art from Murray State University with an emphasis in drawing, painting and graphic design. After working for the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper for 14 years, she left in 2001 to become a full-time artist. Marianna participates in 12 regional art fairs per years and shows in six regional galleries.
She states, “I love being outdoors so landscape drawing and painting are a natural fit. In my work I enjoy depicting light and shadow as it falls upon the landscape illuminating the shapes and rhythm of the land. I like to push color to be more expressive than what I see with my eyes. My most recent challenge is how to apply expressive color to on-location plein air work.”
McDonald has painted the rural areas of Eastern United States for over 40 years. “Working in pastel has been my passion for the past 29 years. She is a juried member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen.
Marianna’s work can also be found at Promenade Gallery, Berea, KY; Edenside Gallery, Louisville, KY; Fayette Gallery, Lexington; Damsel Fly Gallery, Midway; Maincross Gallery, Lexington, KY; and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.