McLaughlin is best known for his powerful, rough paintings built through an intensive working of dozens of layers of paint, pigments, and cold wax medium, along with additives like earth, sand, and wood ash. His highly textured, minimalist works are informed by the urban world of concrete, asphalt, and steel, as well as by the decay, erosion, and weathering of that environment. Though McLaughlin is now a full time abstract artist, he initially trained as a pediatric critical care physician, an influence still palpable in his work. In 2017, he co-authored the first ever comprehensive book on cold wax medium, Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts & Conversations. He lives in Oakland, California.