George McLean1939 -
Born: September 18, 1939, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
George McLean was born on September 18, 1939, in Toronto; he grew up in a low-income section of the city and received his only formal art training at Northern Vocational School. While still a teenager, McLean attended some drawing classes at the Royal Ontario Museum where he met Terry Shortt, one of Canada's premier wildlife artists. Shortt introduced the young artist to Bruno Liljefors's work, and McLean cites that artist's dramatic and evocative compositions as having a "profound effect" on his own personal style.
McLean began his artistic career as an illustrator, which was the only outlet for animal painting at the time. Before long, illustrating proved too confining for him, however, and McLean soon began to paint for galleries.
He has always loved animals of all kinds and communicates his feelings for them through his work; he does not tend to romanticize the natural world, preferring to portray his wildlife subjects as they appear in life. McLean keeps his studio within his home in rural Ontario, preferring to live an outdoor life. His nearest neighbors are about a mile away, but he feels that the solitude provides a good environment for his work. Having exhibited throughout his native Canada and the United States, McLean has also published his work in several books.