Donna grew up in the Australian bush near Coonabarabran, a town that sits on the divide between the Central West and North West Slopes regions of New South Wales. She loved country life, riding horses and swimming in the local creek in summer - fun and laughter.
At 18 Donna moved to Sydney to study Fashion Design at the Sydney College of the Arts. A new life had begun and her creativity was flowing.
After graduating from college work in the fashion industry was a mixture of fun and hard work, with trips to China and Hong Kong along the way.
Three children and a teaching degree later Donna felt the overwhelming urge for a sea change, and moved to the rolling hills and huge skies of the Byron Bay hinterland.
The Byron Bay area is famous for its creative and artistic community, and Donna now had her heart set on painting. Here, with the inspiration of the beautiful countryside and world famous beaches, she was able to indulge her passion and create art works that were true to her heart, full of colour and imagination.
Reflecting on her early life Donna now realises that colour was always important in her life: “I have always been addicted to colour! Even as a child I drove my mother crazy wearing different colour shoes (yes at the same time) and you should have seen the look on Mum’s face when, during my time at University, I dyed my hair red and black checkerboard!!
“As for my painting, I think the brush merely tints the canvas: it is imagination that produces art. I have always been drawn to the quirky and different. ‘Normal’ is not a word I use. My work owes nothing to tradition: I paint with joy and passion and my art is for everyone”.
Donna has had many artistic influences in her life. Two that stand out are Yayoi Kusama for her use of colour, motifs and imagination in a non-traditional way. Another inspiration is the great painter and architect Hundertwasser, who once said: “Art must regain its universal function for all and not just be a fashionable business for insiders”.
This is an important truth for Donna: “It inspires me that my work hangs in the homes of many first time art buyers, as well as being collected by established art patrons. I just LOVE that my art brings smiles, joy, imagination and colour into the environment and life of all sorts of people.”
Now the joy has spread even further, with Donna’s images available worldwide at Park West Gallery, Maxwell & Williams and others. Collaborations with product developers see Donna’s images now available on a range of art, gift and homewares products.
From original art through to mugs, greeting cards, coasters and fine art prints this self-taught artist’s creativity is admired and bought by many to brighten their world.
Donna calls her paintings ‘Smile Style’. She doesn’t subscribe to any particular art idiom - she just paints what she sees, imagines or dreams. This leads to a wide spectrum of works across multiple subjects. All true to Donna’s heart and imagination.