John T. McDonald
John McDonald’s first exhibit on the Mississippi Coast was on May 24, 1996, as was held at the Blue Skies Gallery showing selected watercolor paintings.
John is a native of Pass Christian, growing up here in the 1940's and 50's, and is a brother of former Mayor Billy McDonald.
His training as an artist began in 1963 when he started work as an illustrator for the U. S. Air Force Air Ground Operations School in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Many of his associates were accomplished artists and illustrators who kindled his interest in the fine arts — painting his first watercolor in 1965.
John’s formal art training was during the 1970's at Woodstock, New York, having studied with John Pike and Edgar Whitney — where he found that the contrasting styles of his two teachers helped him develop a balance between freedom of expression and a more controlled approach in his painting.
He began teaching watercolor workshops in the late 70' s and found pleasure in assisting others to express themselves. John's desire is to preserve in his art – both the history and beauty of the coastal communities where he spent his youth. The water color of the old PC Yacht Club is an example.
After thirty years as a Florida resident, enjoying considerable acclaim for his landscapes of the Fort Walton Beach - Destin area, he and his artist wife, Tricia, moved back to the "Pass." Both have become welcome additions to the growing art colony — and John has served several terms as president of the Pass Christian Art Association.
Since moving back to his home, he has been striving to capture in watercolors the beauty of the Coast he remembers so well as a fifth generation Pass Christianian.
John's first limited edition print, titled "Pass Christian Yacht Club, 1950's" shows the old building as it appeared in 1953 before the widening of Hwy 90. The full-color signed and numbered edition of 750 prints measuring 18 by 24 inches, selling for $45, it was reproduced from an original watercolor by the artist. John has continued with many other select scenes.