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Painting: Michelle McDonough


Michelle McDonough: Artist’s Statement

In my paintings, I aim to capture what I describe as the happiness, humor and imagination that I feel should be a part of every childhood. Animals are frequently the subject of my paintings, as I feel that they share a similar honesty, enthusiasm and innocence of spirit with children.

The vision of a rigidly-trained animal obediently, fearfully jumping through a flaming hoop under the big top at a circus is not something I see as remotely enjoyable. I would rather see happy, goofy animals in engaged in various acts of unhindered and (in the case of my art, exaggerated) playfulness without the fear of “not doing it properly,” and this is what I aim to convey through my art; a vitality and surreal energy that is, in essence, an experience- or re-experience- of childhood, expressed through something I value greatly: happy animals enjoying and exploring their freedom.

Like me, my three year old son has been an animal lover since his first exposure to them, and my love for him is the inspiration behind my work.

The Whimsical World of Michelle McDonough


What is whimsy? If you look at the paintings of Michelle McDonough, you should be able to figure it out. Using bright, bold colours, Michelle creates playful, cheerful images of animals being just a bit kooky. Whimsical art makes you look at the world in a different way. At HarbourKIDS, we wanted to take a look at animals in a new way. A lot of circuses don’t use animals anymore because they think it’s wrong. So we’ve commissioned Michelle to create three new pieces inspired by circus animals. What would circus animals do if they could escape from their cages? The fanciful mind of Michelle McDonough is sure to come up with something fun and fantastical. Michelle’s new paintings, alongside some older ones, will adorn the walls of the LEGO™ room to inspire kids in their creations.

Visual Arts Family
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