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Local Talent II

When I design a room I start with an "inspirational" piece.  This item can be a great rug, a family heirloom, a beautiful fabric or treasured accessory.  However, one of my favorite items to start with is a beautiful painting.  

So it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Donna McGee a very talented artist who creates gorgeous abstract paintings.   Donna's award winning paintings can be found in galleries in Washington, D.C. and NewYork City and in private and corporate collections across the country.  She is also the author of two books:  The Whole College, an art book for aesthetic education and Creativity and The Child:  Training Modules for Teachers.

With her paintings, Donna wants to impart a meditative quality.  She invites the viewer to to let their eyes travel over the entire canvas and draw their own inspiration. 

I'm always curious how people discover their passion and what inspires their creations.  Well, find out from Donna herself:


MM:  When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

DM:  I can’t remember any one time making this decision.  It seems to be something I always did. My family was always involved in the arts in some way.  My house always had music playing and lot of art materials such as paint, clay, and sewing notions around the house.  I grew up during the fifties when I was not involved in organized sports, but rather spent lots of time playing, making mud pies, designing and making doll clothes, and sketching nature in my back yard.

I enjoyed art classes in school and always won prizes for my work.  However, when I decided to go to college and wanted to go to art school, I did not have support from my father.   So I studied early childhood education instead and became a teacher.  I taught for several years and eventually studied how art can be the base for all learning which lead me to help establish a school in Harrisburg, PA that uses art as a major discipline for learning. I taught many years on the college level.  The courses were always designed to help early childhood teachers understand and know how to create learning environments based on art as a way of learning.  I still teach today, but I now teach online. I teach a distance learning early childhood education art course for a community college in PA.  I am finally at a time in my life when I can paint full time and devote most of my thoughts and energy to my painting.  

China Red Web

Skipping Stones

Monet's Abstract

MM:  Have you always done abstract paintings?
DM:   No. I was always intrigued, but never knew how to start.  Sometimes people look at abstracts and say anyone could do that or it looks like a child did that.  Actually, Picasso said, "It has taken me a lifetime to learn how to paint like a child.  Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
When I teach I emphasize, that when children are left to create their own images and not have interference form adults, they create the most amazing and beautiful art.  
When I moved from Pennsylvania to Maryland twelve years ago I signed up for Helen Corning’s abstract painting class at the Yellow Barn Studio at Glen Echo.  I came home and told my husband, that this is what I was searching for.  I found something that spoke to me.  I also found out, that abstract art is one of most difficult to paint.  Here I am looking at a blank canvas and I am to make something on it.  I am not sketching something I am looking at; instead the image must come from within.  I have been painting abstract painting ever since that first class.





MM:  What is the inspiration for your paintings?
DM:  When I paint I do not know what the finished product will be.  I choose a pallet to work with and make some bold marks on the empty canvas and start applying paint.  I really like to explore texture and paint and add lots of layers to see how colors and shapes change each other, and how it becomes a total image.  I continue to add layers or paint, texture, and sometimes scraping it off, until the total picture tells me that it is finished.
I have been told that some of my paintings look old and aged while others look like a piece of hand made silk.  Those, who have purchased them, tell me that my paintings are meditative and they continue to explore the painting and find new images.  Nature and children’s art still have a strong influence on my painting.  

Asian Screen

Monte's Glimmer

I think you'll agree that just looking at Donna's paintings make you feel peaceful and relaxed.  I look forward to the day I can hang one of her pieces in my home!  You can view more of Donna's work on the Foundry Gallery website.  Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about Donna's work.


Oliveaux said...

I agree...they are very peaceful. Wonderful talent. Ax

Pretty Inspirational said...

Thank you Amanda! I agree, Donna is great. I really enjoy reading your blog!

Josh M said...

Great post. I really like her work and think it would be very cool to see them in person.