Ralph J. McDonald – Artist & Great Person
R. J. McDonald is one of our country’s most highly respected wildlife artists.
For over thirty years knowledgeable art collectors have enthusiastically collected his paintings, giclees and limited edition prints. Among these collectors are a Chief Justice Of The United States Supreme Court, Two State Governors, several senators and congressmen, as well as movie stars, corporations and business leaders. Add to this group the tens of thousands of other collectors who appreciate and collect McDonald’s realistic paintings and limited edition prints of North America’s wildlife.
McDonald received his formal art education at The Harris Art School. After Graduating from Harris he stayed on with the school as an instructor for an additional two years before entering the commercial art field.
For several years he enjoyed a successful career as a commercial artist, but he did not enjoy having to paint only those subjects that his clients ordered. The artist in him yearned to create paintings of the subjects that interested him, the birds and animals of Tennessee.
He left the security of a commercial art to become a wildlife artist. His timing was excellent, as the limited edition print market was expanding rapidly at that time. His career also received a substantial boost when the Governor of Tennessee commissioned him to paint the official portrait of the state’s bird, the Mockingbird.
Ralph, as his friends call him, has enjoyed a very successful career, but he has always felt an appreciation and debt to the birds and animals whose images have contributed so much to his success. Ducks Unlimited named him it’s National Artist of the Year in 1981. Over the years the sale of his paintings and prints by conservation organizations have raised over fifteen million dollars to help fund their projects.
His “Green Wing Series” is the most profitable print series in Ducks Unlimited’s history. In appreciation for his contributions to wildlife, Ducks Unlimited and The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency named a major wildlife management area in Middle Tennessee in his honor.
Mr. McDonald’s work has been featured a numerous major art shows and exhibitions throughout the country. Among them are Game Conservation International, The Ducks Unlimited National Wildlife Art Show, Safari Club International, The Easton Waterfowl Festival, and he has been the featured artist of the year at The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (1988), The World Wildlife Exposition (1991), The Southern Wildlife Exposition (1993), and the Ducks Unlimited Great Outdoors Festival (1998).
Click here to see some of this artist’s work.
Reprinted with permission