Welcome..... and thank you for visiting my web site.

I am a retired scientist and self-taught artist who paints as a daily practice. For many years I considered myself a fine art photographer and found my artistic outlets on the street with my Leica cameras and in darkrooms. In the past I have also been a military medic, Search and Rescue Dog Handler, rock climber, and an operating room nurse.  Now I paint.


Painting - and my favorite thing about it - allows creating my own light and forms. 

Painting allows expression limited only by my own  skills and imagination. 

Painting is physical like dancing. 

Painting allows sloppy and drippy and finger prints. 

Painting is analogue, and

Painting can be colorful far beyond the natural. 

I try not to overthink whats happening when I start a painting. I simply allow texture and random shapes and colors to take form with brushes or knives. This is the chaos stage.

Making a story out of the chaos comes next.

Sometimes addressing the chaos results in pure form/color abstractions, sometimes quasi-figurative and sometimes allegory. At other times when traces of the old left brain photo-formality rises to the surface the painting morphs into distinct geometric forms with no purpose but to be colorful with a coherent orderliness.

There is some photography shown on these pages. I have boxes of negatives and prints but not much of the old film-based stuff is “digitized”. Some is and I’ll eventually stick it in here for old times sake. Current photography - all digital now - is also posted as much to illustrate where my life now takes me than as a presentation of photographic art.

I live in Tucson, Arizona, and certainly my colors and compositions are informed by the natural palette of the Sonoran Desert. My painting is no doubt further influenced by the funky pre-statehood historic neighborhood that I live in. Tucson is a very eclectic and groovy place with lots of one-of-a-kind creative people that have befriended me, inspire me, and help  in my attempts to deserve the moniker “artist”. I owe my friends so much; they know who they are and I thank them.

Many of these paintings are available for sale. If you see something that you might want to own please do get in touch. (with this hotlink) or through my Contact Page.  I'd love to talk to you about my art and your interest in it. Prices for Paintings on canvas range between $1500 and $300, Those on paper range between $600 and $200 unframed. If you prefer to receive your painting matted, framed and ready to hang the additional charge will reflect the actual cost of me having it done by a professional framer and your frame material preferences.

Your thoughts and impressions of my work are valued and most welcome.


Jack McLain

Downtown Tucson, Arizona