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Imitating Life: Posing questions to local artist David McKeag

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David McKeag

David McKeag

Cory Bilicko
Managing Editor

Born in San Diego, and now residing in Long Beach, artist David McKeag has an associate’s degree in art from Cerritos Community College and a bachelor’s degree in automotive design from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, but his primary source of income is personal training.
Using his dining table as his workspace, the 51-year-old mostly works in acrylic these days, although he says he enjoys watercolor, gauche and graphite/color pencil as well.
Asked how long he’s been making art, he says, “I have been drawing or painting since I could hold a brush or pencil.”


“Pray,” watercolor

What would you say is your point-of-view as an artist?

I do whatever feels right at the time. I have no real agenda or story to tell. I let each painting create its own story in the mind of the observer.

Why do you make art?
Because I feel I have a talent for it and I love/need to create, whether to fool the eye with realism or stir the imagination or create simple emotion with abstract.


“Sade,” acrylic on canvas

If, for some reason, you could no longer create art, what would you do?
I’m doing it. I am a certified personal trainer. In a way, I would still be creating, as in designing new bodies for people.

Is there anything that blocks you as an artist?

Good question. Yes, distractions in my personal life, like my father’s prolonged illness and death last year. Also, working on a painting that my heart isn’t into anymore, or a commission in which I might have bit off more than I can chew, so to speak.

Do you have a favorite piece of art you’ve created?
Yes, for several reasons, like the way my emotions just flowed from me while I was painting it and the important personal symbolic nature it has. Also, it was my first abstract and, I feel, my most successful. It’s called “Pray.” This one is very personal. It represents a time of emotional rebirth after a near depression from dealing with a long-term illness that was finally over. It is not religious per se, but rather spiritual. As praying is as much an activity done to commune with a god, it is also, to me, a way of expressing through meditation, attaining spiritual clarity.

Do you have a favorite piece of art that someone else has made?
Funny— I don’t think I do. I love all the great masters from the Renaissance and Impressionist eras, as well as many modern works, but I can’t think off-hand of something that really hits me at the core as being a favorite. It’s like picking a favorite friend or place. There are many works that have resonated with me. Each one fits a different mood.

Do you have a least-favorite color?
Least favorite color…no! Even what some might consider ugly can come in handy when you need something different. I also seem partial to color underdogs like puce.

“Stars and Stripes Forever

“Stars and Stripes Forever” acrylic on canvas

To view more of McKeag’s work, visit .

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Imitating Life: Posing questions to local artist David McKeag