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Seaman, Labourer, Artist, Manufacturer

Charles Macdonald's sensitivity to nature was grafted onto a steady series of small oil paintings, especially through the 1950's as he went into his eighties. If his watercolour and drawing practice dominated the first thirty years of his life, and his concrete community vision the next generation period then oil painting would be his leisure concentration during the last twenty years. He had been painting in this medium since at least 1918, when his pigments were earth tones with foiliage and water highlighted by an extensive but finely controlled silver-grey. However, he transposed the 19th century museum-tonal into the 20th century colouristic not much before he was fifty, although his works were rarely dated. One of the best examples of this is the picture Homestead Road , a favourite theme of Macdonald's and with a high-keyed treatment that does place him parallel to the American Impressionist group known as "The Ten" who were exhibiting in New York City at the end of the century when Macdonald was on hand. (Homestead Road resides in the permanent collection of The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia)

Patrick C Laurette for The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

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