Above: Detail from 'Air Force: The Tribe of the Tui'
About the Artist
Richard's current preoccupation is with birds,
particularly those native to New Zealand, subject matter he considers
a natural choice given the unique avian heritage Kiwis have.
These aren't however always depicted in a straightforward manner and increasingly
symbolic and surrealist elements are appearing in
his work, augmenting the purely aesthetic.
"They're intriguing creatures in their own right and sadly we've lost some
incredible species. I'd like to make people really think about how incredible they
all are. There's also a rich history of bird folklore from which to draw
inspiration and I love the idea of the Human/Avian relationship."
Birds aside, the iconic Buzzy Bee,
aviation/automotive subjects and landscapes have
also featured in his repertoire.
"There is a part of me which is drawn to the 'fine art' side of the tracks,
and that more conservative approach is often strongly represented in my work,
but I'm just as likely to head off into a flight of fancy, wherever my head
may take me when it comes to how I depict my subject"
Usually working in oils on panel, he has evolved a methodology and style
as delicate as his subjects often are. The works balance an understated
intricacy in rendering with more assertive compositional elements,
often nowadays with the inclusion of a narrative component.
Three dimensional work has now also surfaced in a series of
'designer toys' evolved from our humble Buzzy Bee
and referencing cultural icons.
"I like to create not only visually appealing pieces, but ones in which I can
engage and entice the viewer to delve into a little deeper."
Although citing influences as often being unconscious and not
necessarily obvious at first glance, he lists among them the art of Katsushika
Hokusai, Salvador Dali, Raymond Ching and Leila Ataya, a love of the natural world,
particularly native New Zealand birds, flight, symbolism, surrealism, a
sizeable nod to Kiwiana and a long time fascination
with the East Asian aesthetic.
Formally trained in decorative paint effects (Unitec Cert Decorative Art) and
graphic design (MIT Dip Visual Arts) he has also worked as an art school technician.
He is currently based in Tauranga, New Zealand.
Commissions are welcomed.
Feel free to email to discuss your ideas/requirements.
Most subjects seriously considered.
Above: Detail from 'His Masterful Voice'
Copyright © Richard Macdonald Tauranga, New Zealand. All images and text are copyright of the artist.
No reproduction without permission.