Contact Donna if interested
in purchasing her art.
I didn’t really start my art career until 1997 when I quit my corporate job to become the artist I always felt I was. I did however make art my whole life.
It started when I drew an idea for the new winery that was being built in a close, open-air shopping center in my neighborhood. I charged him $650 and gave him credit terms, $200 a month after he opened. That lead to many more jobs, a giant restaurant with 40 foot high ceilings, many bars, and other restaurants, then the private homes. I was even awarded a spiral staircase mural in a historic building (I have never understood how the curators would want that). It was a sepia tone rendition of the twenty one missions built by Father Junipero Serra starting in 1769 through 1832. I had a personal breakthrough during these paintings. I painted a mural of the bell tower of Santa Barbara at the bottom of the stairway in color. The bell tower must have had 8000 rocks to build it. Each rock I painted I complained to myself that it was the worst painting of a rock, I thought the last one was bad, but this one is really awful. I had a month off after painting this. I have this ability to forget about what I paint after about two weeks, so I didn’t think about the really terrible 8000 rocks again. As I rounded the corner of where the staircase was located, I was astonished at the beautiful mural and for a nano-second wondered who painted this beautiful mural. It almost made my cry. I decided I would stop being so very critical of my work and just go with it. I made my living painting murals, repairing ceramics, restoring screens and old paintings then for around 10 years. I loved it; it was interesting work.
In 2009 my first grandson was born, gosh my career was going well, I had lots of work in interesting places and the money was good. I thought however on my deathbed would I want to paint another mural. Nope I would like to spend time with my son and grandson. I finished up the current jobs, packed some stuff and moved to Seeley Wisconsin where my grandson’s mother was from. I moved February 14, 2010. That year winter was over by April. My neighbor took me around to show me poison oak and ivy. Told me about getting a cowbell and a stick to walk the dogs, there were tons of bears around daily. It was an amazing experience. Good news I lived across the street from my grandchild, and I was his primary babysitter and got to spend his actual 1st birthday with him. He had a party the next weekend.
I had something worthwhile to do in California, so I gave up my great log cabin attached to a house apartment and went back to California for eleven months. Upon returning my son found me a really wonderful apartment in Cable - the former preschool in the bottom art of the Popelk’s home. Cable is a wonderful place.
I volunteered for the Cable Natural History Museum as a docent and then as their resident on demand painter. My best mural there was for the Lakes Alive exhibit. I learned so very much about lakes and the animals around our lakes. Did you know that turtles bury their heads into the mud at the bottom of a lake and breath out their butts for the winter? Honest it’s true. They have semi permeable membranes from which they receive oxygen. Many art projects followed, a 20-foot mural of the life of different bees, every wall in the exhibit hall a seasonal forest, a hunters cabin. For around five years I conducted art and craft classes in the summers in the Wayside Wonderings natural play area about 3 and a half blocks from the museum proper. Around the same time, I conducted painting classes in the Minong community building. As well as at the Out of the Woods Winery and other private fun wine and paint together parties.
I still paint an occasional mural, my favorite one is on the side of Art Beat. There are a couple of ones high up on 7th street in Saint Paul, complete inside the Seeley vet’s bathroom, I think that was the first one I did in the area.
Last year my very good friend Nancy moved here from California, and we were lucky enough to rent the gorgeous apartment above the Northwoods Humane Society even though I was sad to give up the Cable apartment. I love my life, it is filled with art, all day, every day if I choose. I love the look of snow, I love Hayward, I love our lakes, even though I do not go in them (remember all the knowledge I got from painting Lakes Alive!) The opportunity to have a studio space is miraculous and wonderful. If it’s art I do it.