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Artists go brush to brush in fundraising competition

Nadine Hughes and Gord MacDonald compete in the final round of a live painting fundraiser at The Commune in downtown New Glasgow.
Nadine Hughes and Gord MacDonald compete in the final round of a live painting fundraiser at The Commune in downtown New Glasgow.

NEW GLASGOW - Six artists went to battle with their brushes Saturday night in Art At Night’s first live painting competition with New Glasgow spray-painter Gord MacDonald claiming first place.

Organizers of the annual art festival in downtown New Glasgow held a fundraiser at The Commune that saw painters colour canvases in 20 minutes and audience members voting on their favourite.

“It was a lot of fun. I practiced. I tried the time limit earlier in the week and (it) scared me, but I worked on it and it was okay,” MacDonald said about Battle of the Brushes, his first time in a painting competition.

Organizers of the annual art festival in downtown New Glasgow held a fundraiser at The Commune that saw painters colour canvases in 20 minutes and audience members voting on their favourite.

“It was a lot of fun. I practiced. I tried the time limit earlier in the week and (it) scared me, but I worked on it and it was okay,” MacDonald said about Battle of the Brushes, his first time in a painting competition.

Gord MacDonald is pictured with his painting from the final round. MacDonald was the winner at Battle of the Brushes on Saturday night.

MacDonald quit his job to become a full-time artist a few months ago, he said, finishing more work in the past six months than over the past decade.

A life-long painter, he got into street art about 20 years with a tunnel in Alma near Northumberland Regional High School as his canvas since 2001.

While he would normally take a few hours to complete a painting, he wasn’t deterred by the time limit.

“When you think about emotion and art and how emotion affects it, anger is like fast burn, a lot of intense passion. Passion is fast and it burns out quick, so I try to get as much done as I can in a short period of time … maybe I’ll just keep doing 20-minute paintings and it should be okay,” he said, laughing.

Organizers were pleased with how the fundraiser went.

“We’re really happy. We’re happy with the turnout; we’re happy with all the artists. We’re happy with the silent auction … We’ve been getting a lot of really good reception about it, so we know this is going to be something that we’re going to continue to do as a fundraiser,” said Ian Grant, who planned the event with Jillian Hennick.

He noted they had a lot of interest from people under 19, who weren’t able to attend as the event took place in a bar, and hope to do a similar event for all ages in the future.

“We don’t know what that will look like yet, but certainly it’ll happen.”

The money raised will go into running Art At Night, which takes place on May 6.

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