Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
white background for styling
Brad McLean

Brad McLean

Kentucky Crafted Artist
  • Painting


    ​Painting, whether it is watercolor, acrylic, or oil, has been my preferred medium for several years. I've often been captivated by representational painting, so whether I'm painting landscapes, portraits, floral, automobiles, or wildlife, my style is most often realism. A sense of order, design and beauty that is found in the natural world is important to me.

    From the time of high school I've been intrigued by mystery, allegory, and deeper, sometimes hidden meanings which I saw in literature, movies, the lyrics of songs, and visual art. In fact, I was eagerly searching for truth to fill the emptiness and sense of meaninglessness that I felt. I finally found the Truth and the Life that filled the void. Since that time, I paint from a sense of purpose and meaning, whereas before I was painting from chaos, frustration, and no real direction. Now no matter what I paint, I have the privilege of expressing the beauty of creation with a sense of wonder and awe, and sometimes mystery. I really enjoy painting from allegorical themes, and depicting themes of redemption found in the midst of difficult or puzzling circumstances.

    Having a foundation in drawing and design, I gravitate toward form and how light and shadows affect it, either subtly or more dramatically. The words of my professor still echo in my mind, “Paint what you see, not what you know." As a result, I find it difficult to just pull an image out of the air without first seeing the subject. I am fascinated with portraying three dimensional forms on a two dimensional surface. For watercolors, I paint wet on wet washes in alternating sections of the paper. After these dry I add more transparent layers with decreasing wetness and increasing detail. Sometimes I purposely leave background areas out of focus in order to give a sense of depth. For acrylic or oil on canvas, I more directly blend thicker colors as needed. It's exciting to see the forms emerge as color, shadows, light and texture come together. I am continually grateful for the privilege of painting, and for the lifelong learning process and discovery it affords.​

    Back to Directory

    Artist Information


    Brad McLean Photo