Justin Donald smears paint on a canvas in his backyard. One of his unique methods is pouring the paint in his mouth and spitting it on the canvas.
Justin Donald smears paint on a canvas in his backyard. One of his unique methods is pouring the paint in his mouth and spitting it on the canvas.
Philadelphia artist Justin Donald describes himself as a very complicated person.

“I’m very different,” he said, ruffling his hair. “My mind does not work like anyone else’s. I pay attention to detail.”

And it shows.

The talented artist was featured in a show at  Lucas Road Gallery in downtown Meridian earlier this month with numerous people in attendance. The art gallery hosted several artists.  Donald had eight works of art on display.

The turnout was excellent, he said.

“A lot of people came from Philadelphia,” Donald said. “I am very thankful for all of the people that came. My jaw hurt from talking non-stop all night.”

Patricia Euyoque traveled from here to Meridian to attend her friend’s art show.

“He’s a great,” she said. “He’s a really close friend and I love his art. He is so talented. I had a really great time. I saw a lot of people from Philadelphia.”

Donald, 35, is a self-described “people person” and his zeal for life is apparent in his words and in his work.

“I enjoy people and I enjoy life,” he said. “I’m not the type of person who comes in and sits down and does nothing the rest of the day. I’m always doing something or working on a project. I never sit down.”

His restless mind keeps the artist awake at all hours of the night and inspiration can strike when he leasts expects it.

“I don’t have one thing that inspires me. I just have to feel it,” he said.

Donald literally has to feel the canvas with his hands and something has to strike him.

His method can result in many different projects going on at one time. At the moment, he is working on six pieces.

He’s not afraid to experiment and almost owes his success to that in part.

“I use anything,” he said. “Green is a color I just don’t paint with because my eye doesn’t go to it. I love a deep texture painting and have used different objects to paint with like fresh eucalyptus leaves. I’ve used sand before and broken up glass.”

His unique methods reflect his one-of-a-kind personality. Donald’s charisma is undeniably magnetic and his happy spirit is contagious.

He is more at peace now than he has ever been in his life.

“I’m so much at peace with myself. I’ve got an excellent support system with friends, people who believe in me, people who are there for me,” he said. “I’m satisfied with life now. I’ve found myself, and I’m happy. I am me.”

Donald is the son of Tommy and Cindy Shields and the late David Donald of Philadelphia.