Latest Paintings from Dr. McDonald


Elaine, a good friend of mine, gave these fabulous roses to me after church on Sunday. All of her flower arrangements are a work of art. She said that I might want to paint them and she was right. As soon as she walked into the building, my eyes were drawn to the fullness of the pink roses and the wonderful yellow-green container. I had always liked these colors together and have been wanting to paint something with that color combination. My plan was coming to fruition. The bouquet had already had a few days in the vase so when I picked it up on Monday morning to take it to my studio....beautiful pedals started falling. I was very careful and rearranged the flowers later. I used a little "artistic license" to complete the composition. I liked it so much that I decided to paint two 6" x 6" panels. I'm pleased. Thanks Elaine.


Velvet Whiskers


Oil on Canvas


12" x 12"


This is one of those paintings that I have a hard time of letting go. You see, when I was about 10 years old, my Dad bought a baby chicken for me that was the color of purple. Ink had been injected into the yolk before the little thing developed, so you could choose a color: blue, yellow, pink, green, etc. My chicken spent the night in a bird-cage and followed me around the house by day (thanks goodness for hardwood floors). As the chicken grew, I let it go outside and Dad was glad to have a hen around the house because we could have fresh eggs. One morning, Velvet, the name I gave my chicken, was outside my bedroom window and I heard this straining crow from its throat. Oh my! The hen turned out to be a rooster. That rooster was the best "guard dog" I could ever have. He kept me save and would flog anyone who came close to me. I could carry him on his side in one hand high above my head and he felt perfectly safe. I can still remember Velvet, as I topped the hill going home in a school bus after school, running from the back of the house and waiting by the side of the road for me to un-board. One day, when I got home from school, Velvet did not meet me. I went into the house and asked my Dad where Velvet was. He didn't respond. My grandmother was standing by the stove cooking dinner and she did not respond. I ran outside yelling for Velvet. He did not come. I was searching in the nearby corn field and there were his white, billowy, bloody feathers blowing in the wind. I sat there and cried for at least an hour. About that time, my Dad yelled out the back door that it was dinner time. I sadly walked back to the house and sat down at the kitchen table as my Dad handed a plate of fried chicken to me. He said that if I didn't eat, I would not get anything else. Between sobs I ate Velvet and mourned his death for months. I now have this painting hanging in my kitchen. If chickens go to heaven, I know Velvet will be waiting by the side of road for me.

- Dr. Carolyn McDonald



"First Day of Summer"

16" x 12"

Oil on Panel

 When I first saw this scene, I was captivated by the color of the flowers.  After I began painting, I became fascinated with the warm and cool shadows and their soft and hard edges.  This painting is now in my own stable.  It will stay in the family until I paint a new favorite.  I like to live with my work for a while.  I continue to learn as I critique what I have completed.  Hopefully, in the future, I will be able to paint this one better.  It is a continuous learning curve as I continue to learn from other artists who are miles ahead of me.



[caption id="attachment_498" align="aligncenter" width="416"] First Day of Summer_oil on panel_16x12.jpg[/caption]




McDonald Oil Painting: "Garden Party"

"Garden Party" is the latest "fresh paint" from my easel.  The mother was gracious and let me take pictures of the little girls having a tea party in the garden.  I love the reflected light on the little girls face and the bright sun on the clothes.

AP Drawing Students Enter the World of Oil Painting

"My painting mentors have all be trained to paint in the lineage of John Singer Sargent." explains Dr. McDonald.  "Therefore, I approach the teaching of painting in the same manner. My AP Drawing class recently began oil painting, so the journey began."

"I demonstrate the stages to the students and have them follow along in the steps.  I start by drawing the subject with a small brush and thin oil paint. The students watch, then go to their painting panels to do the same. After they have finished the proportions, I demonstrate the thin oil block-in of shadows. They return to their own paintings and do their block-in. My last demonstration is laying in heavier, local color matching the values previously painted. I walk around the room and help each student develop their ability to match color with value, blending, mixing color, and how to get a variation of soft and hard edges."

"It is so encouraging to see that sparkle is someone's eyes when he/she realized that they have captured the essence of a subject. Here are recent examples of our painting journey."


[caption id="attachment_446" align="aligncenter" width="782"] Painting by Wyatt Hood[/caption]



[caption id="attachment_445" align="aligncenter" width="796"] Painting by Kori[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_443" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Adam Westfall Painting[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_441" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Adam Westfall Painting[/caption]


Ms. McGuffey Attends ABC 33/40 Luncheon

Homewood High School teacher Mrs. Lynn McGuffey attended a luncheon at the ABC 33/40 studios, honoring each of the ABC 33/40 Benchmark Teacher of the Week award recipients during this school year. Mrs. McGuffey was first awarded this honor in October with a visit from ABC 33/40, who videotaped a segment that appeared on air throughout the following week.


Ms. McGuffey Named Benchmark Teacher of the Week

Congratulations to Ms. McGuffey for being named ABC 33/40 Benchmark Teacher of the Week! Follow the link below and look for Ms. McGuffey being presented the award. Congratulations, Ms. McGuffey!



McDonald wins "Best of Show" at International Competition

Dr. Carolyn McDonald recently won "Best of Show" in the portrait/figure division at the Contemporary Fine Art International Competition.  Dr. McDonald was interviewed and the write-up along with the winning oil portrait appeared in the August on-line magazine, "Visual Language."  You can view the magazine by going to Contemporary Fine Art International on-line and clicking "magazine."



Here is a blast from the past! Try to guess the faculty member below...

Tweet your guess to: @hhsopenline. Include #guessthefaculty in your response.