J.W.M Turner at the Art Gallery of Ontario

I recently visited the Art Gallery of Ontario to see its latest exhibition, J.W.M. Turner: Painting Set Free and came away impressed. Here is a short review.


ABOVE: J.M.W. Turner, War. The Exile and the Rock Limpit, 1842, oil on canvas, 40.5 x 40.3 x 4.7 inches, © Tate, London [2015]

BELOW: J.M.W. Turner, Peace – Burial at Sea, 1842, oil on canvas, 43.7 x 43.6 x 4.7 inches, © Tate, London [2015]

I’ve written about J.M.W. Turner in the past. First, about his painting The Slave Ship, and then, about his biopic film Mr. Turner. Suffice it say, I am a huge fan, and as such, I was super excited to see his works up close and personal in J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

As usual, I went on a Saturday afternoon, and as is the case with most of the AGO’s blockbuster shows, so too did half the city. Despite the turnout, I was able to maneuver my way through the crowd and take in all the show had to offer. Which was a lot.

While I would have loved to see my favorite painting The Slave Ship, this exhibition does perfectly well without it. Many of the works on display are stunning, and the curators did an excellent job of showing Turner’s  progression as an artist, as well as his many influences.

From maritime scenes and mythical stories, to sunrises and sunsets (who doesn’t love those) there’s something for everyone in this show. If you’re already a fan of Turner, or if you’re hearing about him for the first time, you should go.

J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free is at the AGO until January 30, 2016.

Opening Night at the #Hashtag Gallery

A very big thanks to everyone who attended my opening last night at the #Hashtag Gallery. For those who missed it, show runs until Sunday, November 29, 2015.



November 19-29

#Hashtag Gallery 830 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1V3

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Friday 4-10pm, Saturday 2-8pm, Sunday 12-5pm

My First Solo Exhibition

I’m happy to announce that a week from today, my first solo exhibition will be opening at the #Hashtag Gallery in Toronto. Details are as follows:



November 19-29 // Opening reception: Thursday, November 19 (7-11:30pm)

#Hashtag Gallery 830 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1V3

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Friday 4-10pm, Saturday 2-8pm, Sunday 12-5pm

My Artistic Process

As I’m currently getting ready for an upcoming show (more details to come), I thought I’d give a behind the scenes look at the creation of one of my pieces.


After many alterations, I eventually arrived at a finalized design. This is the first step in all of my projects.

With the design finalized, I was ready to start building the piece. I worked on the back panel first as it was the easiest part of the project. It consisted of a 16 x 20 inch gesso board painted with an iridescent pearl wash.

Next, I set to work on the middle panel. First, I taped off the edges of a 16 x 20 inch sheet of plexi-glass with painters tape, then I applied a thick layer of pearl mica paste with a palette knife.

Once I had finished applying the pearl mica paste, I removed the painters tape and put the panel aside to dry.

Three coats were needed to complete the middle panel.

Once I had received the mirror paint in the mail, I taped a mirror imaged version of the design to a 16 x 20 inch sheet of tempered glass and began applying the paint.

It took four coats of paint to complete the mirror effect. Once the paint had cured, I cleaned up all edges with an x-acto knife. Then, in order to make the tree stand out, I put a thin black outline around all the edges with a marker.

Here is the completed piece: David McDonough, On the Outskirts of Tokyo, Mixed Media, 17 x 21 x 2.5 inches