Ford P. R. McLain is a primitive-abstract painter living in Albany, New
York. He is both a descendent of
Italian immigrants and a son of the American Revolution.
His influences include Paul Gauguin (his gateway painter), painters of
the New York School of the 1940s and 1950s (Gorky, deKooning, Frankenthaler,
Pollock, Mitchell, Kline, et al.), jazz musicians Charles Mingus and Miles
Davis, playwright Sam Shepard, and filmmakers David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick. He began as a primitive painter, but in late
2013 McLain moved into abstract painting.
Many of McLain’s paintings contain themes of spiritual liberation
through the nexus of creativity and sexuality, as well as the connections
between a painter and his muses (of which he has had a few).
McLain’s main approach to a painting typically starts with an idea, a
title, a vision, or even the thought of a person (usually one of his
muses). From there, he improvises: like
a jazz composition, each stroke, each choice of color plays off the previous
strokes or color choices. He usually
paints with music playing. He is a fan
of playing Mingus, the Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan and many other artists,
depending on his mood.
Over the past decade, McLain has participated in group and solo shows
in the City of Albany and has sold a number of paintings.
In addition to being a painter, McLain is the father of great daughter,
a teaching assistant in the Albany City School District, and, formally, an
airport taxi driver. For 5 ½ years, he curated monthly art shows out of a popular
wine bar in Albany, New York.
Ford P. R. McLain plans to live until he is over 100 and paint until
his mind and body give out.