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McLean, John


"I start a painting with a rough plan, but as the work develops I adapt the plan or even abandon it altogether. Important as they are, planning and experience are not as crucial as intuition and spontaneity. Like most painters, I depend on luck as well as knowledge."

The shapes in McLean's work are a response to factors in the picture itself. Contrast is important: hard and soft edges, dark and light tone, opaque and translucent paint, mattness versus gloss. His work is complete when the painting is alive and answering back in some way. The manner in which it does this is always surprising.

John McLean was born in Liverpool and studied at the University of St. Andrews as well as the Courtauld Institute of Art. His first one-person exhibition was at the Talbot Rice Gallery Edinburgh, 1975. He was Artist in Residence at Edinburgh University in 1985. He has since shown regularly with Flowers East, London.



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