Art in the Everyday
An exhibition by James McDonald RSW
This exhibition is intended to represent two or three strands of James's work from the past few decades up to the present day, in paint and in print. It includes some paintings lent from private collections, intaglio prints - etchings and engravings, some 'hot off the press' - new paintings and a selection of items linked to the pictures; steel and copper printing plates and associated tools used in their creation. Also on view will be recently published artist books and a selection of digital prints. James said "Growing up locally and first witnessing Slade performing nearly 50 years ago on my first visit, it will be interesting to be exhibiting in Callendar House, set on the very edge of the Empire. I have long been fascinated by the Antonine Wall, spending many years following its route between Castlecary and Falkirk by foot for the past 40 years."
James McDonald was born in Stirling in 1956. He attended Stenhousemuir and Carron Primary Schools, then Larbert High School before studying Art and Design at Edinburgh College of Art. He was awarded the Andrew Grant Travelling Scholarship in 1978, leaving with a Certificate in Post Graduate Studies in 1979. His skills were honed in printmaking between 1980 and 1986 producing, printing and exhibiting his own etchings, as well as "editioning" those of other artists, from Dame Elizabeth Blackadder and John Bellany, to Antique copper-plate maps for Bartholomew's of Edinburgh, in the role of freelance Master Printer. James travelled, lived and exhibited in Sweden and Belgium prior to helping set up the Art and Design Department at Cumbernauld College in 1983.
Finding the confidence to try out painting in 1986, and having enjoyed it, James had a measure of success at Glasgow's Main Fine Art, Compass Gallery and also Glasgow Print Studio. In 1988, he moved into his current studio in the East End of Glasgow where, apart from brief Summer sojourns at the "Smith & Wellstood" buildings in Bonnybridge on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal, he has painted full time to this day.
In 2014, James was elected a professional member of The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour, and, in 2017, (following three field trips to the Baltic Island of Peenemunde), his book, "Girl and Asteroid", was published by Nine Muses.
James McDonald's pictures can be found in many collections throughout the world, including those of:
- The Victoria and Albert Museum
- The McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, Ontario
- The Hunterian Gallery at the University of Glasgow
- The University of Strathclyde
- Glasgow Kelvingrove Museum
- The Commonwealth Institute
- Hove Museum
- Arthur Andersen & Co
- Arts in Fife
- Harper Macleod Solicitors
- John Rae Audio-Visual
- Port Charlotte Hotel in Isla
- The Walter Scott Foundation
- as well as all the major Scottish banks
Some of his works are also held in the private collections of numerous individuals worldwide, including the collections of:
- Lord MacLennan
- Raymond Blanc
- Bob Geldof
- Jenny Agutter
- Lord MacFarlane
- Auberon Waugh
- G D Harper
- James Herbert
- Jane Nottage
- Jeffrey Archer
The Royal Glasgow Institute of The Fine Arts, The Royal Scottish Academy, The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour and The Bohun Gallery in Henley-on-Thames are some institutions that hold regular exhibitions of James McDonald's work, along with Glasgow's Billcliffe Fine Art where James' next major exhibition, "There ... In Black and White!", will take place in August 2019.