A 12-year member of the gallery, he joined in June 2002. This retrospective of his work is a fresh look at his favorite subjects — water and boats — rendered in the most appropriate medium, watercolor.
The opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on “First Friday,” June 6, is an opportunity to meet this talented specialist and be inspired by his views of watercraft in their natural settings.
“I strive to work so that the result appears to have been painted with a happy and relaxed brush. I want the painting to appear as if it was quick and easy to execute, and just fell naturally onto the paper. The painting should convey my overall emotion about the subject: peace, joy, excitement, sadness or whatever — a lot is suggested — and the details I try to leave to the viewer to supply from the wealth of their own experiences,” the artist explains.
McLean was introduced to watercolor painting in his native Ireland by a caring high-school teacher. He dabbled with it for the next 40 years or so, while pursuing a career in consulting engineering. After retiring, painting took over, and he now strives to paint watercolors that will involve the viewer. His objective is to convey the message with as few brushstrokes as possible, saying more with less.
With a lifelong participation in coast-wise sailing and ocean passage-making, McLean gravitates toward water, boats and the coastal scene. His images are timeless and evoke memories of many locations the viewer can relate to.
Considering himself to be primarily a self-taught artist, McLean uses the many how-to-paint watercolor instruction books available. In addition, he has taken workshops with Robert Wade, Chuck McLachlan, Tony Couch, Eric Wiegardt, Judi Wagner, Tony Van Hasselt and David Taylor. He is a member of both the Tennessee and the Georgia Watercolor societies. His paintings are shown on the gallery website.
In-Town Gallery, founded in 1974, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It is one of the oldest nonprofit cooperative galleries in the nation. It presents the original work of more than 30 regional studio artists. It is located at 26A Frazier Ave. Chattanooga, between the Market Street and Walnut Street bridges on the North Shore of the Tennessee River.
The gallery is open every day year-round, except major holidays. For more information, call 267-9214 or visit www.intowngallery.com or www.facebook.com/intowngallery.