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Brian Macdonald

North Slave
(867) 888-0924

Artist Story

Yellowknife looks a lot different from when I moved here as a teenager in 1968. I never went to school for art – only graduating from Sir John Franklin High School – but I have been selling my paintings since 1972, right out of the classroom. There wasn’t much recorded from that time so I painted it. Having created over 8,000 paintings, I realize painting is my way of giving back to my community.

Yellowknife doesn’t just look different; the way I look at it has changed. I grew up with very bad eyesight and a lot of people didn’t think I could be an artist because of it. There was a point in time when my work was dark and drab; a true reflection of how I was feeling about my eyesight. Thankfully, I had both of my corneas replaced and now I have perfect vision. This gift has enabled me to continue painting for myself, and my community.

I almost always work in large watercolours or acrylics. As my artwork develops and I develop as an artist, I believe using tools properly and trying different techniques becomes very important. It is not always about the talent but the whole picture of becoming a better person. Artists are such a vibrant part of the community – I hope I can leave some type of legacy with my paintings.

Artist Bio: 

Brian is a self-taught artist, adopting watercolour as his primary tool for expression. He has made Yellowknife his home since 1968. He feels his Northern experiences have helped him to develop his art and to express within his paintings the depth of his feelings.

Last Updated: April 11, 2019

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