artist in focus: anna macDonald


Christopher King at Katherine Richards Art Gallery

Anna Macdonald’s work, using acrylic and mixed media on wood, delves into the importance of negative space, or what she describes as her interpretation of the Zen philosophy “Ma” - the spatial relationship between the structural elements. Her paintings and drawings incorporate the Shibumi principles - a complex process including asymmetry, simplicity and a reverence of nature

How do you describe your work?

It is minimal, calm. Japanese inspired with a nod to mid-century abstraction. Unobtrusively beautiful


What would you say are your greatest influences?

There are many: Nature, the Japanese philosophy of Shibumi, and artists such as Toko Shinoda, Victor Passmore, Ben Nicholson, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Klein, Rothko, Willem Hammershoi, De Stijl, and the art movement of Constructivism


Who do you have in mind when you create your work?

Me. I think about how this work makes me feel as I make it and when I look at it. I consider whether it evokes the feeling I first had when I looked at that landscape, leaves or shadows

What makes your art different, special and irresistible?

My work is unusually simple in a world that is piling excess on us. My paintings bring a moment of respite in our busy modern world


What do people say when they see your collection / portfolio? How does your art make them feel?

People have told me they feel calm, peaceful, meditative when they look at my work


What do you think motivates people to buy your art? How does it appeal to the heart?

I think my work helps bring tranquillity, the essence of nature and simple beauty into a home. By bringing a representation of nature inside to be contemplated and appreciated, it helps the viewer to slow down and be more present, more grateful for the simple things like a shadow or a beautiful leaf

Who responds to your work and why do they connect with what you make?

Other creatives often buy my work – interior designers, photographers and artists, for example - but also other professionals. One series was very popular with surgeons - something about my decisive mark-making, apparently! People interested in Japanese culture and aesthetics tend to appreciate my work. Also people who like the concepts of minimalism and how my work brings a sense of calm and tranquillity. It seems to slow people down and they enjoy looking at the nuances in the paint colour or the variety of marks