Artist Cris McDonald – Race As an Artistic Non-Issue

There is amongst us a woman and a modern artist who cares not for the trappings of race – or rather, she cares a lot. She cares enough to disregard it, taking only what is below the hair, freckles, hairy moles, hairy warts, and burn and scratch scars, capturing it in oil on canvas.

Her name is Cris McDonald. She goes by “Chris.” Enemies call her “Chris.” Friends call her “Chris.” Complete mocha-sipping strangers call her Chris. She is a Caucasian woman with beautifully dark skin, hair and eyes. She is a woman for whom the general public has always asked, “What race are you?” She even learned some Spanish for those who assumed she spoke it.

She paints her own face and portrait a lot as most women would be rather complaintful about such a thoroughfare. That is pretty much how us women are. We complain about a lot, and are weird about our image.

Famous people only provide fodder for this Texas-born and residing artist. She has painted Martin Luther King, Geronimo, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Hendrix, Prince, and Jim Morrison.

Many family members have not escaped the lock and key that is her brush stroke. She has painted them as members of different races or of an ambiguous one. But, she has captured many of them.

Children are also one of her favorite subjects. For me, these are the most enchanting of all of her works. Ms. McDonald is the life capturing the life.

Ms. McDonald is a fairly recent college graduate. It took her longer than usual, as she has had to work and put herself through. It is characteristic of her tenacity, commitment, and recognition of what is important.

I wish all artists had her sunny disposition, funny personality, and love of all that is innocent. (Even her Daschund’s name is Sunny!) Indeed, the world would be a better place.