Fiona McDonnell

Artist Statement

I have been creating art since my early childhood, finding solace and inspiration through my fascination with the colors and textures of the natural world and all of the exquisite flora and fauna that I discovered within that world. Creating art was an expression of my passion, curiosity, and intrigue with the landscape, wildlife, and water that surrounded me. I feel strongly about the Earth's beauty and its ability to heal, unify, and nourish all of the amazing life forms that dwell upon it. With this passion comes the desire for conservation, protection, and encouragement to take responsibility about being better stewards of this amazing planet.

Deeply rooted in curiosity, I developed an interest in animals and an affinity for whales. This was originally realized through books and television specials as it was difficult to observe them from the shores of Lake Michigan where I lived prior to my move to Pacifica, CA. four years ago. My interest in whales also prompted a life long concern and activism in protecting the magnificent cetacean citizens of this planet. They deserve freedom and protection from the continued horrors and brutality of the whaling industry and most importantly, a safe and clean ocean home to live in.

Last summer and fall was an amazing time to see humpback whales feeding near the Pacifica coastline. They often swam in close to the surf line and sightings were so frequent that it was common to see their spouts during hikes, or spontaneously pull my car over on the way to work, to enjoy an eager glimpse of them. The sightings were such a gift, so frequent and impressive, that when the whales migrated away for the winter season, I felt a visceral sadness and loss of their company.

It was then that I decided to begin a new series of paintings about whales which I had never attempted before. I began the process by observing photographs and videos of humpback whales under water and was very moved by their impressive size and the shapes and form of their bodies as light wove intricate patterns and reflections on their skin. I then sketched out my own compositions that became an amalgam style representation of the positions and body shapes that I wanted to paint. I am hoping that my canvases, brushes, paints and hands will attempt to convey, in a non photo-centric way, the attention, respect and justice that I feel these intelligent and exquisite ocean brothers and sisters deserve and perhaps motivate observers to feel a kindred desire to protect them.

Swimming with the whales are a few other paintings of a different theme and a selection of photographs that speak to the beauty of the natural world that I cherish and wish to preserve.


Last updated on April 20, 2016 Email comments to: fiona
Artwork and Text Copyright ©2016 by Fiona Karen McDonnell. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.