In 1935 Macdonald moved to the remote First Nations’ settlement of Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island to paint. He took inspiration from his surroundings and produced many images of the landscape. During this time he also started to create works that were “semi-abstract”. He called these works “modalities” or “thought-expressions”. Etheric Form is one of Macdonald’s earliest modalities and reflects in paint his understanding of reality beyond the physical world.