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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.