George Donald was born in India and trained at Edinburgh and Hornsey College of Art, London, in the 1960s, which was at that time, a centre for new thinking and radical ideas in visual education. He drove to India and Nepal as a travelling scholar and attended Varanasi Hindu University. In mid-career, George took a postgraduate degree at Edinburgh University in philosophy and education. An enthusiastic traveller, he draws inspiration from cultures as diverse as India, China, Mexico, Japan and Australia. Now retired from lecturing at Edinburgh College of Art's Drawing & Painting School, where latterly, he was Director of the Centre for Continuing Studies, he paints professionally, and exhibits widely. He continues to lecture, and teaches a semester annually, in Anatomy/Life Drawing, at a University in the USA. George has work in many public and private collections throughout the UK and abroad, and is currently Keeper of the Royal Scottish Academy.
Drawing is fundamental to my practice as a figurative painter. I draw to interrogate, describe and celebrate the human form. Through drawing, I explore and come to comprehend this complex arrangement of bones, tendon and muscle. I employ a range of mark-making tools; with precision, to define the interacting forms; with expression, to celebrate the human dynamic and its infinite grace. It is so rarely that we have the privilege of gazing undisturbed at another human body – as a child may, or as lovers do. Drawing studies offer us this opportunity to engage with the human condition, to describe the extraordinary nature of the body and, with the simplest of means, and by skilled illusion, to recreate on the page, layers of aesthetic, cultural and psychological meaning. The disciplines of life drawing are transferrable to all areas of the visual arts where haptic skills, careful graphic description, and individual expression are valued.