For more than forty years, George McLean has lived in a stone farmhouse on 100 acres of land in Grey County, Ontario. On his daily walks, he looks for a moment that will inspire him — the first step in a process that can take up to a year to yield a single painting.
McLean's densely layered depictions of the natural world emerge directly from his intense interest in wildlife. In this sumptuous book, Virginia Eichhorn, Adam Duncan Harris, and Tom Smart examine the development of McLean's art and trace his varied influences, from early 20th-century wildlife artists Carl Rungius and Bruno Liljefors to Andrew Wyeth. Connecting with past traditions while resonating with contemporary audiences, McLean's work, along with that of many realists before him, reflects a shared sense of what it means to be North American.
Illustrated with more than 60 colour reproductions, the publication of George McLean: The Living Landscape coincides with the opening of an accompanying international touring exhibition of McLean's work at the Tom Thomson Gallery in Owen Sound.
"With subtlety and grace, George McLean captures singular moments in the lives of animals. Each work is built upon a foundation of artistic skill, consummate design sensibility, and an abiding appreciation for wildlife and natural habitat. Not one to shy away from the reality of life in the animal world, McLean often depicts his subjects at the peak of physical exertion, in mid-chase, life and death hanging in the balance... McLean's vibrant, complex paintings reveal the forces of nature, small and mighty, that shape the existence of the creatures with whom we share this planet."
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