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Bright Clouds of May

This exhibition opens at the Campden Gallery, Chipping Campden, on 5 May, 2018 and runs until 28 May.  Full details on their website:

Some of the paintings were shown in my Worcester City Art Gallery exhibition in 2016, This Green Earth, but there are new paintings and one or two older drawings.  The title was chosen because the exhibition spans the month of May, but also because it reminds me of one of my favourite paintings, Samuel Palmer’s The Bright Cloud, which hung in that exhibition.  It was such a privilege to have it on loan from Manchester Art Gallery, along with other exquisite works by Claude Lorrain from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.  I have continued to explore the themes of that Worcester exhibition and new works in Bright Clouds of May include two Malvern nocturnes of the moon, and small paintings of English hedgerow trees:  oak, hawthorn and elder.


Exhibitions in 2018

Advance notice of exhibitions this coming year:

5 – 28 May at  Campden Gallery, Chipping Campden (solo exhibition)

4 August – 1 September at Twenty Twenty, Ludlow (with painters Malcolm Ashman, Andrew Lansley and the potter James Campbell)

From 19 May at Moncrieff-Bray Gallery, Pulborough, Sussex (group summer exhibition)

Further information on all the above will be posted nearer the time.

Forthcoming workshops/courses etc

6 March at Quay Arts, Isle of Wight (charcoal drawing workshop on the new Portfolio Course)

6 and 7 June at Moncrieff-Bray Gallery, Sussex (charcoal drawing course)


In the studio: a new drawing

The Midsummer Mare/2

32 x 48 ins  charcoal on paper

I have been working on this drawing off and on for many months.   I came across the beautiful grey mare in the country below the Malvern Hills on a midsummer evening in 2015.  An earlier (and larger) version exists but I think this second attempt more successfully captures the magical feeling of the encounter.


3 August, 2017

Paper Matters at Eagle Gallery

Art First is in residence at Eagle Gallery, Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell, London from 10 May to 2 June.  Their exhibition Paper Matters includes three of my large charcoal drawings:  Woodpigeons, The Prague Hare and The Goat Octavius.  Further details on their website



14 May, 2017

From Rocken End to Binnel : gallery shots


The exhibition opened on Saturday, 8 April at The Clayden Gallery, Quay Arts Centre, Newport Harbour, Isle of Wight and runs until 1 May.  We had a great turn out for the opening, the weather was glorious and it was a lovely occasion.  Richard Long is showing in the West Gallery at Quay Arts and his exhibition ‘Six Walks for the Isle of Wight’ opened on the same day.  I have always liked Long’s work and was interested in the Q & A session which he gave that afternoon.

Our work could not be more different, his ranging across the world and apparently making no reference to other art practice beyond his own experience of walking and interacting with the landscape; in contrast I have always referred to the art of the past and how landscape has been a subject for painting and poetic engagement over many centuries.  However, in a small way I think our exhibitions turned out to be complementary.  Molly and I focussed on a very small stretch of coastline which we know intimately.  As part of his exhibition Richard Long made a site specific wall painting of mud from the River Medina, while Molly used local clay found on the beach to glaze some of her pots.  The decorations on her pots and tiles of crows, magpies and fish were given a context in my paintings and drawings of the landscape and the sea.  And my tiny ink drawings were made from sepia ink, derived from cuttlefish (although I must admit not from local ones).

Molly and I are pleased with our collaboration, the first but maybe not the last.


16 April 2017



Pots by Molly Attrill  /  Paintings and Drawings by Bridget Macdonald

This exhibition opens on Saturday, 8 April and runs until 1 May, 2017 in The Clayden Gallery at Quay Arts, Newport Harbour, Isle of Wight

This is the first time my sister, who is a potter,  and I have shown our work together.  We have chosen to focus on the small stretch of coastline on the Southern tip of the Isle of Wight where we were born and where Molly still lives.  She has her studio at Binnel, near Ventnor, and here she uses the inherent characteristics of different clays, glazes, oxides and firing schedules to make her pots.  Decoration is based on observational sketches, using techniques including brushwork, wax resist and sgraffito.

I shall show new lighthouse paintings and a sequence of tiny ink drawings (4 x 6 ins) which are as much about memory as the present day.  These refer to William Blake’s wood engravings for Thornton’s edition of Virgil, which Samuel Palmer called “visions of little dells, nooks, and corners of Paradise”.


Pine Tree
Binnel Point






A visit to Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Today I went to Wolverhampton Art Gallery to see their small exhibition ‘Art and Writing’, which includes my 1990 drawing Rosmersholm.  This was acquired by WAG in 1991 and is based on the play of the same name by Ibsen.  I was interested to see the work again and pleased to find it in good company, alongside etchings by Ana Maria Pacheco and Paula Rego.

The charcoal drawing dates from a phase when I worked more closely from literary sources than I do at the moment.  I was also at that time very interested in the figure and in suggesting psychological tensions between figures, without resorting to direct illustration of the text.

The exhibition runs until February 5th and precedes a literary festival in the city.

I also had the chance for a second look at Rosemary Terry’s exhibition ‘The Projected Kitchen’, which runs until February 12th.  This is an installation of sculptures carved in wood, which takes every day kitchen objects and plays with ideas of scale, and two and three dimensionality.  It is a beautiful, quiet and contemplative show.  Rosemary is an old friend from my ten years at the Eagle Works in Wolverhampton, a well known group studio situated in a 19th century factory building, which has been going strong for over 30 years.

So, a worthwhile trip and it was nice to be back in Wolves again.


26th January, 2017





To all visitors

Having my own website is a new departure for me and I hope you will enjoy looking through it and will revisit often.  I shall give information on forthcoming exhibitions on this page along with relevant information on new work, projects and activities in the studio.

Do please use the Contact page to email me – I would welcome feedback.  You can also still get in touch with Art First via the link provided.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Bridget Macdonald