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Derek McDonald's Profile

About

A self-taught artist, Derek McDonald was born in Orange County, California where he began to explore his artistic side at a very young age. He owns a collection of “napkin drawings” his mother saved for him, as he would draw for hours on coffee shop napkins when his family dined out. He also got plenty of drawing practice during school hours when his teacher was busy teaching. Derek was curious about all things mechanical. He would take apart anything he could get his hands on, even if it was in good working condition (a tradition that he still honors today).
In his freshman year of high school, 1982, Derek took metal shop. It was then that he was exposed to a whole new world which included welding; his artistic focus was found, and metal became his passion.
As a young man, Derek’s family was far...far...far from rich, so to make art, he turned to the open road (mostly the side of the road) collecting…

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  • Male
  • Joined March 26, 2009

Favorite materials

Metal, Stone, Marble, Granite, Wood and anything that is waterproof

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  • DerekMcDonaldArtwork

    Changed from RecycledMetalArtwork on Mar 24, 2015

    Art made from recycled metal, wood and...

About

A self-taught artist, Derek McDonald was born in Orange County, California where he began to explore his artistic side at a very young age. He owns a collection of “napkin drawings” his mother saved for him, as he would draw for hours on coffee shop napkins when his family dined out. He also got plenty of drawing practice during school hours when his teacher was busy teaching. Derek was curious about all things mechanical. He would take apart anything he could get his hands on, even if it was in good working condition (a tradition that he still honors today).
In his freshman year of high school, 1982, Derek took metal shop. It was then that he was exposed to a whole new world which included welding; his artistic focus was found, and metal became his passion.
As a young man, Derek’s family was far...far...far from rich, so to make art, he turned to the open road (mostly the side of the road) collecting pieces of metal and other nonsense. He grew fascinated with the challenge of what could be made from his collection of junk. Nowadays, he has become a regular at a few scrap yards and visits weekly for new finds. That might be why his friends and family refer to him as “Sanford.” And even though Derek’s work is mostly recycled, he is perfectly capable of creating with new material too.
He started making small primitive sculptures for his family and friends in 1985. That evolved, and in 1989 he began selling his art locally.
In 1995 his long time love of water and metal sculpture led him to combining the two into a beautiful fountain… that quickly rusted. At that point, he realized the only option was to learn to work with other media such as granite, marble and concrete. To date Derek has made over a dozen fountains, from small tabletop versions to freestanding 7’ high water walls.
Pacific Artworks was formed in 1997 when Derek decided to dedicate more time to art and sculpture. Eventually with that decision came the overwhelming task of building a 900 square foot studio behind his house. After years of personal dedication and labor, not to mention his wife of 12 years, three kids, a dog and a day job (Derek has been a land surveyor since 1988), the studio was designed and completed within the span of five years (2003 – 2008). Every artist needs his creative space, and Derek finally has his.
As he looks to the future, Derek says, “My mind is always moving faster than my hands, so it seems as though I’m constantly a few projects behind. Trying to catch up has been the very thing that keeps me motivated and neurotic at the same time. I’m genuinely inspired by other artists, and their accomplishments push me to perfection…I’ll let you know when I get close.”

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