For artist and farmer Wendy McDonald her creative life would struggle to exist away from the property, near the Murray River in Southwest NSW, she shares with her husband and their two children. The mixed farm on Thule Lagoon feeds inspiration for Wendy’s painting and printmaking by providing a true sense of how the landscape works. She admits she couldn’t be an artist without being a farmer and vice versa - that one could not function without the other. Her work draws from the ecology of the local environment, the ebb and flow of the creeks and rivers and the dramatic changes of the seasons. She is honoured to tell the story of the ephemeral floodplain and the joys of belonging to a small community, through her art. Recent works are deeply embedded in the story of the environmental restoration of the wetland known as The Pollack Swamp, a significant ecological and cultural heritage site closely connected to the famous Blandowski etchings of the 1850's.   


Wendy’s country hospitality can be glimpsed in her still life work and though Glencoe’s farm gate. Known for her open-door philosophy, her kitchen, garden, skills and creative space are shared on a regular basis. An idyllic artists’ retreat for adults and children is offered at the cottage studio. Creative types of all persuasions take refuge at Thule Lagoon and soak up the inspiration and rawness of the surrounding natural canvas.


Wendy’s work has been shown in galleries across NSW and Victoria and in Sydney and Melbourne, with pieces in private collections around the world. Her works have featured in both Home Beautiful and Australian Country Style Magazine. She was honoured to be included in the 2018 Thames & Hudson publication "A Painted Landscape" by Amber Creswell Bell. Wendy has been a finalist in numerous awards including The NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize (2016,2017 & 2018), the Paddington Art Prize, The Calleen Art Prize and The Swan Hill Print & Drawing Acquisitive Prize.


"The free but considered mark making by Wendy McDonald in her paintings and drawings reinterpret a country she knows so well. Billabongs, dry lakes, creeks and rivers, redgum and box country, sandhills, forests and farms.

This is the home and workplace for McDonald. Her discerning and insightful eye bring an authority to the work that can only come by someone deeply invested in this landscape."


Ian Tully, Director Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery, 2020


"Artists of all types are our most talented communicators. Claude Monet’s impressionistic paintings of waterlilies remain some of the world’s most powerful wetland imagines. Instantly recognisable his images cross all social and cultural borders and speak to us all individually.

Full appreciation comes through an intimate knowledge of the subject. The wetlands of the Central Murray Region are complex in ecological structure and seasonal variations. Capturing these natural subtleties and differences as Wendy does so skilfully gives an intimate and unique view, improving our appreciation and understanding of these precious and iconic wetlands."  


 Dan Hutton,  Environmental Consultant, 2020


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