greenan castle
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artist John MacDonald captures the spectacular scenery on his doorstep. This watercolour of “Greenan Castle” is minutes from home, and on the morning walk with his beloved dog “Suzie”.

After moving to Ayr in 2012 John has immersed himself in the local art scene. A member of Ayr Sketch Club, the Troon Art Club and participant of the Ayr Open Studios every April. He also attends local life-drawing and painting workshops.

Originally from Nairn on the Moray coast near Inverness. John studied Graphics at Edinburgh College of Art in the 60’s. After graduating he had a long and successful career as a graphic designer in Glasgow.

Since retiring he has been busy
painting. Here is a selection of some his best paintings produced over the last five years. He paints in a variety of mediums from watercolour, here, to oils and acrylics.
swans over arran
snow melt
winter afternoon troon
rock pool
ayr harbour
portencross pier
"Greenan Castle"
"Swans over Arran"
"Snow Melt"
"Winter Afternoon Troon"
"Rock Pool"
"Ayr Harbour"
" Portencross Pier"

Above a dramatic composition capturing the moment a gaggle of swans make their way inland over Seafield beach Ayr.
A sight to be relished, almost as much as their landings. Here, in Johns
painting all the birds are in different stages of flight giving the painting a

John is always interested in nature and often finds inspiration from his walks.

On the left, the fast flowing meltwater at Kinlochewe is described.
All the whites and grey, blues
reinforcing the feeling of coldness
and winter.

Atmospheric skies are an important element to Johns paintings. His use of pink and peach colours suggestive of dusk or dawn and can convey a feeling of the seasons.

Below, you feel the chill in the air as much as the figures in the painting,
“Winter Afternoon Troon".

John is confident placing figures in the landscape. Confidence born out of many life drawing classes.
Johns ability to show our interaction with nature makes the scene in “Rock Pool” instantly recognisable and playful.

Below Johns painting of Ayr Harbour shows his interest in depicting water and reflections in his work.
The way the boats mast in the foreground is distorted in the water shows the movement and volume of the water.

Bottom of the page is “Portencross Pier”. This has proved to be one of John’s most popular paintings, having sold many prints of this composition. It’s possibly because of the attention to detail in the bright colours of all the different types of lichen and algae on the rocks.

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