« [MacDonald] ne vient pas de l'école qui trouve la plus grande inspiration dans la morosité et le caractère accidenté du pays nord. Sa sensibilité particulière à la couleur est l'un de ses atouts, combiné avec une technique compétente et une capacité à capturer une saveur essentiellement canadienne. » Colin S. MacDonald, Dictionnaire d'artistes canadiens, Volume 4

Manly MacDonald painted primarily in the region of Northumberland County, Ontario as well as elsewhere in Ontario including the Algoma region of northern Ontario, and in the Canadian Rockies, the Maritimes, Quebec, and Toronto. 

He was a Canadian painter known for his depictions of rural landscapes and winter scenes. His paintings often capture the quiet beauty of the Canadian countryside, with a focus on the play of light and shadow in natural settings.

MacDonald's winter landscapes often feature scenes of everyday life in rural Canada, such as farms, small towns, and winding country roads. His use of light and shadow is particularly noteworthy, with his paintings capturing the way that the winter sun creates long shadows and illuminates the snow-covered landscape.

One of the most striking aspects of MacDonald's winter landscapes is his ability to convey a sense of warmth and comfort despite the coldness of the season.

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