February 2010 home page


Artists in our Backyard
Virginia Lawrence | Caminito Del Rocio


Longtime Del Mar residents Robert “Mac” McMillan (hematologist) and Don Coordt (architect) have more in common than a shared zip code. Both have returned to the art of painting after a long absence, both have had their work on the covers of First Thursdays concert programs, and both belong to the Plaza’s Del Mar Art Center Gallery where several of their pieces are on display.

It is in their work that their differences as artists can be seen. Mac has painted in both acrylic and oil, with a preference for oil because he finds the colors more vivid. Don appreciates watercolors for their intensity, and tries to incorporate the white of the paper into his compositions. Some of Mac’s best works have been dashed off in a few hours giving an impressionistic feel. Don spends more time on the details of a piece, often working on more than one at once as he waits for a wash to dry; and while his pictures often have touches of impressionism, they are more frequently representational.

Self-portrait by Mac McMillan in acrylic - 1976


Mac: A resident doctor in 1964 Mac started his artistic career with an oil painting class in Manhattan Beach. This was followed by drawing and figure-drawing classes at UCLA, and later by an acrylic painting class. These excursions into the art world ceased in 1968 when he came to San Diego to work at Scripps. However, in the nineties he resumed acrylic painting and created all his early Del Mar pictures. Finally in 2005 he switched back to oil, which he now uses exclusively. It was Mac’s 1995 painting of the Powerhouse that was used first for Del Mar’s 50th anniversary poster and then for the City Council’s Operating and Capital Budget Report for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.

Mac's Gallery



Daily Life, Vietnam - 2009 by Don Coordt

Don: As an architectural student at the College of Environmental Design, UC, BERKLEY, Don learned to use watercolors for project presentations. This made for a natural progression eight years ago when he returned to watercolors and took up ceramics. In 2007 he joined the San Diego Watercolor Society which has given him painting awards, as has the Del Mar Fair where he has displayed his works. Though several of his paintings depict Del Mar, he has drawn upon his travel experiences as inspiration in Maine, the Grand Canyon, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, and in Mesa Verde where he captured a hillside of cliff dwellings. In addition to buildings he focuses on landscapes, with the ocean as a primary ingredients.

Don's Gallery


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