Langley Artist - Portraits to Landscapes
It always amazes me the way she captures light in a way that brings the entire subject to life, whether a gaggle of silly geese, a boy and his dog, or a contemplative day at the beach. – Bob Groeneveld, Editor, Langley Advance
Donna has been painting since her early teens, but her interest in art started long before that.
When she was only four or five years old, her older sister Carol got a chalkboard with white outline pictures on the margins, pictures that a child could copy with her own chalk. Donna especially recalls one sample outline of an old steam train on a track, traveling through a landscape - just an outline in white that you could copy on the main part of the board. The train inspired a profound insight: a person could draw what they could see. From that insight came an intense longing to be able to do it.
Carol became Donna's first teacher, showing her how to look at things and render them into drawings.
Fast forward to 13 years old. Donna came down with severe viral pneumonia and was home from school for three months.
"And they had a hard time keeping me in bed," Donna remembers. "A neighbour came over with a couple of paint-by-numbers for me."
When she finished the stock paintings, she still had some paint left, and the desire to paint more.
She used the leftover paint on a piece of "the nice, smooth white cardboard that used to come in nylons" – her first original canvass.
From there, she went on to take art classes at high school and took a night school painting class.
Over the years, she pulled out her brushes and easel, and captured a variety of subjects in oils. She copied masters, studied landscapes, produced portraits, painted horses, and brought to her canvass images of anything that struck her fancy.
She explains her love of painting: "I'm capturing a place, a time, a moment, and when I'm painting it, it's as though I'm transported there, to see it with original eyes."
In 2006 she began to study under the tutelage of well-known Fort Langley painter Barbara Boldt, and continues to hone her skills in Boldt's Glen Valley studio.
Today, she continues to produce a wide variety of oil paintings, concentrating mainly on realism.