MICHAEL McDONALD has over 20 years experience in marketing, advertising and public relations, specializing in non-profit arts. Since 2005 he has been the Communications Director for the Mendocino Art Center and has concurrently served as the Associate Publisher of the organization's preeminent Mendocino County arts and culture magazine, Mendocino Arts.


Prior to moving to the Mendocino Coast in northern California in 2002, Michael worked in marketing and public relations for Pacific Ballet Theatre and Oregon Ballet Theatre in Portland, OR. He also worked for Portland-based online advertising agency, eyescream interactive, servicing national corporations as well as pro bono clients in the non-profit arts sector.


Michael was honored as a PGE/TACS “Community Treasurer” in the City of Portland for his work in non-profit management. He has served on many boards and advisory committees, including the Friends of the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Portland Dance Festival, Mendocino Heritage Days and as a founding member of the Mendocino Arts Showcase.


His new obsession is photography, both abstract and travel. In March 2015 he entered his first juried exhibition, the New York Center for Photographic Art's "Wandering Curves" Exhibition. His abstract image, "Ghost Slinky," was awarded Honorable Mention by juror Debra Klomp Ching. Since then his abstract photography has been exhibited in Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, and throughout California.


His photography has been published in The Emerald Magazine, Western Art & Architecture, Open Exchange, Mendocino Arts, and Mendocino Travelers Guide, among others. Michael also served as an editorial advisor in the production of the art book, Dorr Bothwell: Straws in the Wind, an artist's life as told to Bruce Levene.


In his spare time, Michael enjoys traveling internationally and exploring the slot canyons of southern Utah with his wife Kathy, cheering on Bay Area sports teams, and writing acerbic political satire.


Visit eyes pried open productions for travel photography, slideshows and photo books, design, writings and other recent projects.

ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY, to me, is about creating a mood or evoking a feeling, eschewing a representational interpretation of an object or place. I'm inspired by reflection, light, pattern, depth, luminosity and color saturation.


I utilize two photography techniques. One method creates a sense of movement in stationary objects by pairing a slow shutter speed with a physical sweeping motion of the camera, creating kinetic light paintings or light graffiti.


An alternative technique is shooting extreme close ups, or macro photography, of mundane objects that no "normal" person would consider photographing, capturing the spectacular beauty, depth and intricacy of subjects as ordinary as automobile headlights and tail lights, and the astounding array of shapes and variations that can be found in light filaments. One wouldn't necessarily know what they are viewing, but the images take on a life of their own – and hopefully stand on their own – producing a range of results that are reminiscent of animals, flowers, musical themes and more.

michael mcdonald, abstrakshen, eyes pried open productions
Abstract Photography, Abstrakshen