For artist and farmer Wendy McDonald her creative life would struggle to exist away from the property, near the Murray River in Southwest NSW, she shares with her husband and their two children. The mixed farm on Thule Lagoon feeds inspiration for Wendy’s painting and printmaking by providing a true sense of how the landscape works. She admits she couldn’t be an artist without being a farmer and vice versa - that one could not function without the other. Her work draws from the ecology of the local environment, the ebb and flow of the creeks and rivers and the dramatic changes of the seasons. She is honoured to tell the story of the ephemeral floodplain and the joys of belonging to a small community, through her art.
Wendy’s country hospitality can be glimpsed in her still life work and though Glencoe’s farm gate. Known for her open-door philosophy, her kitchen, garden, skills and creative space are shared on a regular basis. An idyllic artists’ retreat for adults and children is offered at the cottage studio. Creative types of all persuasions take refuge at Thule Lagoon and soak up the inspiration and rawness of the surrounding natural canvas.
Wendy’s work has been shown in galleries across Regional NSW and Victoria and in Sydney and Melbourne, with pieces in private and public collections around the world. Her works have featured in both Home Beautiful and Australian Country Style Magazine. She was honoured to be included in the 2018 Thames & Hudson publication "A Painted Landscape" by Amber Creswell Bell. Wendy has been a finalist in numerous awards including The NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize (2016,2017 & 2018), the Paddington Art Prize, The Calleen Art Prize and The Swan Hill Print & Drawing Acquisitive Prize.
Recent themes include using still life to tell simple narratives, and a series of landscapes documenting the drought and the transformation that rain brings. A daily life connected with the land through farming has dictated the content of these works. I would hope that my work provides an insight into the links that I have with the land, providing a bridge between rural and city consciousness.
Bachelor of Arts (Ed), Deakin University