Marianna McDonald, originally from Louisville, KY, moved to Lexington, KY in 1977 after living in Germany, Ohio, and West Virginia. She received at BS degree in art with an emphasis in painting and graphic design from Murray State University in 1971.

After working in oils and watercolors, McDonald discovered the versatile world of soft pastels in 1982 and has concentrated on developing her expressive coloration to the landscape with pastels. She is most interested in light and shadow as it falls across the land illuminating shapes and atmosphere.

McDonald participates in 12 outdoor art fairs per year. Her work is carried in 4 regional galleries and she teaches pastels to adults.

“I'm a landscape artist using either soft pastels and oils. My pastel work is created on sanded pastel paper and for some work I use an oil wash for the underpainting before applying the pastel,” states McDonald. "I prefer to create pieces larger than 24"x30" in oils."

“I create images from actual places preferring to use nature's information and inspiration for my resource. The Appalachian landscape is so variable and beautiful that I never tire of depicting scenes from Kentucky and West Virginia. As I travel this country and the world I enjoy depicting scenes from the new places I have visited.”

“I paint what I see, but distill the details of nature to focus on the essence of the landscape, adjusting the color to emphasize the light and shadow. I hope the viewer connects to the sense of place that attracted me to the scene.”