What kind of painter are you?

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It’s a good question and one I hadn’t actually considered in depth until last September. The answer to the question is not whether you’re a beginning or advanced artist, an Impressionist, Contemporary Realist, or even an Abstract Expressionist. One’s “style” seems different to me than what we instinctively gravitate toward. The categories of painting that MacDonald discusses seem to go as deep as one’s DNA…in computer terms it’s like your default setting. Some might say, it’s how you almost instinctively paint. MacDonald may disagree with this premise, as he believes we can freely switch from one category to another, and that is true, but I believe, when we’re not thinking about it at all, we will naturally end up painting in one or two of the categories he mentions below. (Click images to enlarge)

John MacDonald


John MacDonald, a brilliant artist, teacher, and writer has given this question some serious thought; if you don’t believe me, take a look at his website and read a few of his newsletters. I consider his bi-monthly newsletter to be the most unselfish, educational, and thoughtfully written one out there. His September/October 2023 letter got my attention as he briefly summarized five categories or roles in which a painter can participate. This led me to his September/October 2022 letter in which he greatly expands on the topic. So what are the five categories of painters: Storyteller, Reporter, Poet, Virtuoso, and Designer.

What kind of painter do you think John MacDonald is?

“River Mist” – 30″ x 40″ – Oil


Over the next five weeks, I will be sharing with you John’s insights regarding the five categories of painters. You won’t want to miss it.

To view John MacDonald’s website, click HERE.


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