Donna Donovan: a long journey back to art.

My first recollection of painting was in grade 3 playing with water paints in an art class activity. I was so proud as my teacher chose my art to be shown to the class. From that day on, I wanted to be an artist and play more with paint.

It wasn't until I was in my late teens that the next momentous event happened. My next door neighbour wanted to practice her portraiture in oils and asked me to sit for her. Well, that lead me to learn to paint in oils. I went to various art teachers in my local area to learn all I could about art. Experimenting with oil painting, watercolours, acrylic, I even started an art section in my sister's office supply store. I loved all the colourful tubes of paint and different mediums, and learned all I could about them.

In my mid to late 20s I travelled overseas and I visited art galleries and museums in England, France, Italy, Greece. This introduced me to all the well-known artists.

Not long after I returned home, I met and married my husband, and started a family. Between working and children I did not have much time to devote to my art practice. We moved to a different area and I started another art section in an office supply store where I worked.

Donna Donovan discovers florals in folk art.

For many years I only painted sporadically. However, the next significant moment in my art journey happened when I studied folk art. I discovered I loved painting florals.

In 2001 I lost my paint mojo, changed jobs and focused my career path in the local council. I did not have any job satisfaction and in 2011, I decided to retire.

Next, I bought an embroidery sewing machine and spent the following years teaching myself to sew and embroider. This satisfied me for a while, but I was craving to do my art again. Unfortunately, the direction I should take at this time was unclear to me.

Donna finds her mojo with pastels

In 2017 while searching the net, I found Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts online. I made my own Life book using different media; it was my turning point to getting back into my art.

With my mojo returning, I found my pastels and started to paint again.

Inspired by pastel artists on Youtube and Patreon including Stephie Clark, I now paint every day. My reference photos come from my daily walk around my garden or out and about while on holidays.

I dream about my next painting and look forward to that excitement I feel upon entering my studio and seeing all my colourful pastel sticks waiting for me to create something.

Colour and light express the mood of a scene.

My painting process is about my passion for colour and light and finding ways to make my art sing and connect with the viewer. I like the immediacy of application with pastels that carries a part of me into each painting. Working mostly from my own photos, I can express my deep feelings, memories and mood of a scene with each colour and pressure or stroke to the paper surface.

When the viewer looks at my paintings, I want them to be drawn to the colour from across the room.  I want the viewer to feel and imagine the story I am telling or create one of their own. My art can incorporate bold under paintings, intense lighting, and strong, vibrant colour regardless of the subject, or soft, natural, moody landscapes with a surprise splash of colour.

Landscapes, seascapes and florals in pastel are my prime interests. I am always on the lookout to catch colour, light, and shadow in my photography, and then translate them into my own pastel art story.

Contact Donna

You can view my art on my Instagram and facebook accounts.

My art is for sale unframed for your enjoyment and investment, so please contact me for prices.

Do leave a comment below.

To view other artists who have been featured on my website in the last 2.5 years, please visit the Guest Artist page.

I am grateful for all the talented, productive artists and creatives from all over the world (photographer, author...) who have appeared on Louise's ARTiculations. If you are a creative and would like to be featured in this space, please contact me.

Many of them remain in my circle of friends on social media sites, and some, I have even met in person.



4 Responses

  • Such an inspiration. I was working as a web developer for full time but when I decided to paint, my life has been changed and i am more happier now. It surely brought some financial challenges but I am positive about it.

    • Heli, many guest artists have similar stories of feeling stuck in jobs they didn’t like and finally taking that leap of faith and starting to paint. However, I think the most common thread uniting all featured artists is that the art was never totally abandoned…some of us started painting when we had more time after raising our families and / or retiring. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Best of luck.

    • Heli creating art sure makes for a more happier me. I have always been creating and expressing myself by using my hands. Pottery, crochet, jewellery making, and more I have experienced some lovely hobbies. But painting with pastels just suits my personality. I hate to think how much money I have spent over the years on art and craft supplies but do not regret one penny of it. It is the joy of making that I am on this earth for and I am so grateful for the colour in my life.

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