Artist reception for Don McKinney tonight

Artist Don McKinney visiting his exhibition inside Saddleback Art Gallery (Anibal Santos/Lariat)

Anibal Santos

Artist Don McKinney will be at the Saddleback Art Gallery for the “3 Transitions-Work Over Time” artist’s reception tonight at 7 p.m. Visitors will have a chance to meet with the artist and also have a chance to purchase some of his paintings. Free food and wine will be available for visitors as well as musical entertainment from Saddleback music students. McKinney is a local artist who was rated No. 32 in the California Contemporary Art Journal’s 50 California Artists You Should Know. He has also done various artist lectures in universities in Ohio, Texas, Los Angeles and New York. McKinney teaches locally as a sculpture instructor at Golden West College.

Artist Don McKinney's piece "Another snare in the jungle" is part of the exhibition at the Saddleback College Art Gallery. (Courtesy Don McKinney)

Artist Don McKinney’s piece “Another snare in the jungle” is part of the exhibition at the Saddleback College Art Gallery. (Courtesy Don McKinney)

Many of McKinney’s paintings come from his memory and subconscious. The painting, “Another Snare in the Jungle,” is a painting that McKinney drew inspiration from his experience with traps in Vietnam. “I knew loved the arts, but it was not until I was in the army where I meet this group of soldiers who were actually artists. They were highly well educated and I wasn’t,” he said “They introduced me into arts. I started going to their studios and being amazed. That is when I began taking art seriously.” McKinney began as a representational painter, but later moved towards abstract subject matter. “Back in the early ’70s I was representational. This work that I’m doing is kind of a reduction of things,” he said.

Don McKinney's "American Kanji" is part of the exhibition at the Saddleback College Art Gallery. (courtesy Don McKinney)

Don McKinney’s “American Kanji” is part of the exhibition at the Saddleback College Art Gallery. (courtesy Don McKinney)

The visual theme of the show involves the three transitions which are the basic elements of painting including line, shape and form. “A lot of what I’m doing comes from the subconscious. There really is no plan when I work, it is automatic response. Art is doing, not thinking,” he said. The body of work inside the gallery features McKinney’s paintings from the early 1990’s to his most recent paintings completed earlier this year. The artist’s reception is from 7-9 p.m. at the Saddleback College Art Gallery. Admission is free. The Gallery is open Monday, Wednesdayand Friday from noon to 4 p.m., Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For further information on Don McKinney’s, visit his website.

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