The Art of Catharine Donalda (Donna)  McLaren

C. (Donalda) Donna McLaren is an artist who, over her lifetime, has practised/expressed in a variety of media. From an early age this included experimenting with mud and sand, carving jewellery from wood, drawing and painting. Emerging from the scribbling stage, her first sketch was that of a horse on a discarded Lux soap wrapper, which although it looked more like a sawhorse, sent her off on years of drawing animals, mainly horses. 

Her early years in the woods, meadows and waters surrounding her home outside of what is now known as Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the tip of Lake Superior, brought her an intense connection with nature, which has followed her artwork from drawing, painting and wood carving to clay, which became her mode of expression for 26 years.

Donalda is a graduate of the University of Guelph  with a Bachelor of Household Science, and from Sheridan College in Ontario, with a major in Ceramics.  It was in the 70's, 80's and the early 90's as a Capilano College Pottery instructor In North Vancouver, BC, Canada, that she became well-known in her field, both through juried exhibitions and galleries across the country.  Her works in pottery are in private collections world-wide; however, due to physical injury brought on by years of heavy physical demands in her field of clay,  she was brought to continue to express her whimsicality and interest in ancient mystical symbols through painting.  After the printing of these paintings, the prints are embellished further with brush pens and metallics.

This work can be appreciated on many levels.  Whimsy is predominant, and whimsy/humour is well known as a route to healing and was also a strong component in her pottery expressions.  Her underlying message, which is shared through her creatures, is to be playful, loving and joyous with one another.

She sees that all Humanity is connected and that through living together in harmony with the Kingdoms, we can share this Planet in the wonderment that is expressed through these artistic creations.  Donalda's series of "We Are All In This Together" is expanding and now includes a Noah's Ark, the 2222 Farm Train, the Circus Train, a Whale of a Tour (including the Dolphins), the Orca, the Spaceship, the Loch Ness Nessy, the Okanagan Ogopogo,  Super Shuswap Cruises, Superior Trout's Voyageur Tours (Old Fort William), Dove's Hot Air Balloon Tours, and Winter Safari. 

Prints from this series have found their way into the offices of doctors, dentists, social workers, care facilities for seniors, hospitals and the like, where their humour brings a sense of relaxation and a refocus ... away from anxieties.

In the home they are often found in kitchens, bathrooms, family rooms, children's bedrooms, home offices and recreation rooms - anywhere their cheerfulness can brighten the family environment.  Summer cottages and winter retreats are likewise enhanced.

She wishes you to enjoy the spontaneity and find inner meaning in these works!

The first show of Donna's paintings was held in Ketchum, Sun Valley Idaho, in December and January of 2002 and 2003.  Her work has since been shown in a number of galleries and shops throughout British Columbia and Ontario.


All artwork copyright C. Donalda McLaren
Website Graphics & Design:  Catherine Vigna