McDonald uses multiple layers of thin paint, powdered pigments and cold wax suspended in medium and slowly built up using a palette knife to simulate the luminescent light of the sky and denser volume of the Earth. These several layers result in a commanding depth experienced only in person.
Although reminiscent of traditional landscape painting, the images McDonald is working with are internal landscapes and therefore more abstract than literal. As a starting point, she uses rural farmland and the ocean from her local environment. McDonald sees the light of the sky as a revelation, an axis mundi that pulls the consciousness out. She sees the process of painting as part meditation; part prayer. The images become a record of her journey.
McDonald’s process includes contemplation of the natural world and focus of the senses. She is seeking a communion with the divine. The connection, which McDonald is trying to express metaphorically, draws a parallel between nature and humanity reminding her each day of her personal quest to find a greater meaning in life.