Judy McDonald, Artist
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About Me

Along the Garden Path
Realistic, figurative work is my expertise. I love to draw faces, especially those of children. I love the open, uninhibited way a child moves. I love the way the sun lands on soft downy hair or lightly caresses the curves of a rounded cheek and tiny nose. I love to draw children playing make-believe, aware only of the story they are spinning to their dolls or teddy bears. I try to capture all of these emotions as well as a child's personality frozen for a moment in time in my paintings. My work has been compared to that of Normal Rockwell's and I consider this to be a great compliment. We use different media, but we both capture the essence of everyday activities in a child's life.

To create the images of children, I use colored pencil as my primary medium. I have worked in colored pencil for over 20 years. Colored pencils are a bridge between drawing and painting. Detail can be achieved with rich, beautiful colors that can look like oils or watercolors. There were no instruction books available when I first began using colored pencils. I experimented and found my own unique style of working with the pencils to achieve the results that I wanted to create my drawings of children. I now demonstrate, lecture and teach many workshops on the subject of colored pencil.

My work and technique have been featured in many colored-pencil books and have won many awards. In 1991, I was commissioned to create the official Simi Valley Days poster. The original colored-pencil painting was presented to President Ronald Reagan at the dedication ceremonies of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Posters were presented to the past living Presidents, all of whom attended the event.

I create my floral paintings in watercolor, sometimes adding colored-pencil details. As I paint, I like to think of each flower as if it were the face of a child, each having its own unique personality and beauty. I also paint landscapes in watercolor and colored pencil. As a California native, I am painting as many areas of this beautiful state as I can to document them for future generations before they disappear completely.