If you ever imagined what it would be like to be inspired each and every day simply by being surrounded by the work of great artists then join us as we delve into the day-to-day of Sydney based Art Advisor, Frederick McDonald.
McDonald first got into the world of Art galleries in London before leaving in 2014 for pastures new in Sydney. MacDonald is a force to be reckoned with – when he is not advising a client on a piece of work to invest in, you will find him surfing, out and about hiking, taking stunning photographs or creating his very own artistic masterpieces.
“I like to mix my painting with sketching and use interesting materials like red wine and dirt. I like rough drawing – I am never delicate or exact. I keep it free and expressive”.
New Zealand Mountain shot by McDonald
New Zealand Mountain shot by McDonald
When did your love of art first begin?
At a very young age, my mother was involved with antiques so I have grown up being forced to think outside of our bubble about other countries and their cultures. France was an important part of our childhood with a hugely art-rich heritage.
You have always loved art but how did you get into the business side of the industry?
I worked with an illustration company in Mayfair and made friends with a couple of gallery owners. From there I ended up working in a couple of gallery’s back in the UK in both London and Bath. Working for the gallery in Bath was really interesting as they are huge supporters of the local art scene and artists, which I really like.
Describe your day-to-day as an Art Consultant?
It’s hard to put it as day-to-day – in the Art world, every day and hour is really odd and surprising. It’s very relationship focused and daily; I am constantly talking about Art for many different reasons. If I’m lucky we will have a nice lunch! My clients are a real mix of everyone – mostly existing collectors, a lot of the artists we exhibit are already established. We don’t get too many first time buyers but that’s definitely starting to change.
What do you love most about your job?
Learning from clients and others in my industry. I’m also pleased to know I have an opportunity to build and support a creative industry, which builds a particular culture for future generations.
What is the one thing you ask your clients when they are in the market for a piece of art?
Broadly asking, what’s the type of thing they are after? Whether the interest is subjective to style, budget, year and artist can narrow it down extensively, but it’s important to advise that not all art is good. I’m cautious of value.
What advice do you give someone investing in his or her very first piece of art?
To use someone in the art industry to help! Perhaps an artist that isn’t represented at the gallery you are looking at. Art is about building a strategic collection and marrying up with your interests.
Where do you get your inspiration? I don’t like artificial light so natural light and being outside in an open space is my main inspiration and really gives me a clear way of thinking. I am also a sucker for minimalist aesthetic that is pleasing.
How do you like spending your free time?
Creating art – I love drawing, painting and photography. I’m currently working on my website which will launch soon and will serve as a portfolio of all my work. I also love viewing art – comes with the territory! When the weather is good at the weekend – I like to get away and surf (top spots Manly and South Coast) and get outside hiking and travelling. I am most happy when I am sleeping in a tent!
What kind of art do you create?
It’s usually in response to travel and being outside. It is an immediate response to seeing landscapes. I like to mix my painting with sketching and use interesting materials like red wine and dirt. I like rough drawing – I am never delicate or exact. I keep it free and expressive.
Image: Frederick McDonald
Artwork created with red wine and dirt by McDonald
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Tell us more about your favourite places you travel?
New Zealand was a playground for me for photography and inspiration. I also loved North Africa and the colour hues over there – I am actually colour blind where I mix my blue’s and purples up so the tonal variation’s in North Africa suit me perfectly! I like to engage with a country with I am uncomfortable with so next on my list is India – I find it so intriguing
Describe your interior at home?
Rough, I spill things frequently and I really like the texture of wood.
What’s the next item on your Art wish list?
I really like the aesthetic on Conrad Jon Godly, a friend recommend him to me.
Skittle Lane Coffee, Sydney | Image: Broadsheet
Image by Artist: Conrad Jon Godly
What is your favourite…
Form of exercise?
Surfing and Hiking
Place to hike in Australia?
Tassie is the place. They have amazing hiking tracks and just unreal beautiful landscapes.
Public art gallery?
Currently – Art Gallery New South Wales
Way to unwind?
Paint and draw
Place to get coffee?
Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel, Sydney. They do a great pork pie and it’s a little slice of home!
Day to day tool?
Bicycle proves very handy!
Milray Park’s Top 3 Takeaways to investing in a piece of Art
Art is about building a strategic collection that marries up with your interests.
Speak to someone in the industry who can help you narrow down what you like and keep you within your budget.
Get outside and get inspired!
McDonald's Favourite Artist: Sol LeWitt | Image: Massmoca
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