Contact Donna: Blog Website Email Address
I recently had the immense pleasure of interviewing Donna Watson, an award-winning contemporary mixed media artist whom I met in early 2009. Immediately upon seeing her amazing work for the first time, I was awe-stricken and head over heels in love: acrylic paint, textured papers, graphite drawings, rusty metal objects and digital images. There is so much to Donna's art... shadows and memories hiding under each layer like tiny secrets, subdued hues that evoke almost a meditative feeling, nature, letters, repetitious symbols, numbers... all so very refreshing and inspiring.
After our interview, Donna informed me that she will be featured in the upcoming book MASTERS: COLLAGE, which will be released in June. One can pre-order it from Amazon.com if you'd like. I, of course, already have my copy on reserve.
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel."
When and how did you first become interested in art? How long have you been creating?
I have childhood memories of drawing and painting, in which I would try to copy drawings and paintings I saw in books. I remember taking high school art classes and when I went to college, I did take a year or so of art classes. But I always got sidetracked and interested in other classes and ended up with a Masters degree in Deaf Education. I taught deaf children in a public school setting for 4 years. Then, 30 years ago when my first son was born I decided to stay home and I took up painting for a hobby. Over the years, and 2 more sons later, the hobby turned into a more serious endeavor.
Do you have a favorite medium or technique you use consistently in your work?
I started working in watercolor and painted landscapes, flowers and still life for 15 years.
During this period, my paintings sold very well in galleries and summer art fairs. About 15 years ago I went through a huge change in my thinking, my focus, my medium, and my goals. I pulled out of the galleries, and quit painting watercolor landscapes. Since then, I have been on a search for more personal content, and a more personal and unique painting style. My medium has evolved into acrylic, and then collage, and now even some assemblage. I now consider myself a mixed media, collage painter.
Describe your working methods.
My working method is very methodological... very thought-ridden and planned out. I start with my theme, or content first and paint in a series of 10-20 paintings within that theme. I then look for images, words, text and papers to fit into the theme. I realized some time ago that I do not like much color so my colors are subdued. I also figured out what I love and make sure I put those elements in my paintings. I love textures, nature, mark making, circles and dots, letters and numbers. I love objects that are weathered, worn, rusty, scratched, or broken. For several years I have been interested in the passage of time and what remains.
How do you see your artwork evolving?
I see my work evolving into assemblage or 3-D wall art. I think I will always be a painter so I will be trying to figure out how to include some objects in with my paintings. I have already experimented with this by sometimes attaching rusty hinges or flat pieces of wood to my paintings.
Is there anything you would like AB readers to know about you that we did not cover in our interview?
I believe very strongly that one should not separate their environment, surroundings, interests from their art work. I plan and work in my zen gardens, my home decor, my style and choice of clothing and jewelry -- are all reflected in my paintings and vice versa.
Upcoming workshops for 2010:
1. Jan. 13-15, Personal Expression: A Design Approach
Palm Beach Watercolor Society, Palm Beach FL
2. March 22-24, Personal Expression: A Design Approach
Emerald Art Center, Springfield OR
3. April 12-16, San Diego Watercolor Society, www.sdws.org
4. Oct. 6-10, Montana Watercolor Society, Kalispell, MT juror and workshop instructor
5. Oct. 21-23, Society of Watercolor Artists, Fort Worth TX www.swa-watercolor.com
If anyone would like more information they can contact Donna directly at the email address listed above.
Matzke Fine Art, Camano Island,WA
Williams Gallery, Port Townsend, WA
All images the property of Donna Watson.
Please do not download, copy or use images without permission. Thank you.
Guest Artist Archive
January 2010 :: Donna Watson >>
September 2009 :: Simon Loach and Joanne Archer >>
July 2009 :: Patricia Chapman >>
April 2009 :: Seth Apter, The Altered Page >>
February 2009 :: Charley and Kerin, Remnants of Olde >>
January 2009 :: Finnian, four year old artist >>