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Life and Work with Donald McCloskey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Donald McCloskey.

Hi Donald, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I have always been artistic but never had the opportunity to take professional courses except for some ceramic classes in high school. I had lived in lower Manhattan for a few years right by the South Street Seaport. During the 9/11 attack, I found myself close enough to the WTC buildings while rushing home from my office on Wall and Water Street. When the buildings collapsed, I suffered a contusion that required a short hospital visit. My apartment was a few blocks away from the WTC and we breathed in that dust for many months. Well ten years later, I discovered that I had cancer of the tongue. After surgery, I was asked if I wanted to take some art classes for therapy which I totally enjoyed. From then on, I decided to take art seriously. I moved from New York to Orlando after I was offered to be the Technical Site manager. The first thing I did was to register for some design classes in Valencia College. I also discovered Crealde School of Art and signed up. I have been going there on-and-off ever since. I had decided that my style is abstract and I like to manipulate paper which I use to create intricate collages, I also love to paint with cold wax and oil as well as acrylic. I have had a few solo shows and have participated in dozens of group showings in Orlando and Kissimmee. I had a six months residency in Leu Gardens, a Month in Kissimmee City Hall and and upcoming Solo show in the Maitland Public Library for the month of October.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Because of my disabilities, I sometimes find it hard to get the strength to paint, but when I do I take full advantage and do as many as I can. I have made many lifelong friends in the classes that I have taken and even have a zoom get together once a week to paint with my friends. I have created over 500 paintings that I have catalogue and try to do at least 1 or 2 a month. I can say that my enthusiasm for painting will get me through the temporary pain or feelings of depression. Art is my muse!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My art tends to be colorful and full of hidden symbolism. I will start off with a specific idea but that usually blossoms into something completely different when I let my brush take over. I specialize in natural paintings of flowers, butterflies, birds and landscapes. I also like to experiment with blending colors and pulling out shapes by using markers to find images in the paint. I also like to take current topics and create a piece of art to represent the moment. I am most proud of my large paintings that have many layers of paint and are colorful and meaningful.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
When I decided to move to Orlando from New York City, I specifically hunted for an area that reminded me of the hustle and bustle of where I lived. I wanted Museums, restaurants, parks, theatre and lots of people. I found this exactly in Downtown Orlando. There’s a reason why they call Orlando the “City Beautiful” and I feel I made the right choice. I have lived here since 2006.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
All Photos by Donald McCloskey

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