M.T. McClanahan was born in rural, eastern North Carolina and earned his BFA from EastCarolina University. His earliest memories as an artist are of a young boy working at the drawing table given to him by his mother. Then to now, he believes, has been a journey to the realization of his true calling in life.
The artist works in both oil and acrylic on stretched canvas and primed masonite board. As a full time artist he paints daily in his modest, one-room studio, but often works on location to continuously train his eye to see and translate the variety in nature.
McClanahan’s current work focus’ on large-scale, intimate views of lone skiffs, Adirondack chairs and architectural elements. He says of art: “A painting works when it belongs, is not contrived; it should have a presence as natural as you or I. The artist’s empathy, especially, dictates this new personality. This naturalness is born of bold expression–confidence in what I have to say and in the means to say it. ”
The artist’s work is represented by several galleries along the east coast of North Carolina, as well as in Raleigh, and in Provincetown, MA. His work is in numerous private and corporate collections.
"I don’t try to consciously know a meaning in a work nor do I attempt social indictments; I respond to a feeling that grows out of my response to the light, colors, contrasts–by all that is experienced of a scene.
I have a desire, I know, to show the life of a scene, to impress upon the viewer, upon myself, that the painting is vibrant and alive, not static. I also know that my subjects reflect inner conditions, but I choose them without contrivances–this would show up in the work I think–and the work, ultimately, is not about the “thing” shown so much as it is about the whole statement.
I am continuously striving, working to be better at what I do, to at once grow in my abilities to see and interpret and, at the same time, let go of it all and just express, just paint.”