Monday, December 30, 2019

A NEW YEAR…A STUDY IN VALUES





Happy New Year my friends in art and life!
I hope this greeting finds you all in good health and good cheer!
Winter is a time for inward reflection for me. Spending more time indoors by a cozy fire with a good cup of coffee and the silence of a winter day allows me to evaluate , reassess, sit, and just be. My exploration of “tonalism” with winter landscape compositions has been my latest painting experience.
Tonalism was a short lived art movement during the early 20th century. Working within a carefully chosen palette of closely related colors, the Tonalists aspired to emulate musicality and inspire contemplation. By arranging color and forms, they believed that landscapes could evoke emotion and suggest deep, cosmic harmonies. Their gentle color schemes and softly brushed contours quickly became popular, influencing musicians and poets. Unlike their contemporaries, such as the Luminists and the Impressionists, the Tonalists favored cool palettes and often chose nocturnal or modest scenes of contemplative quiet. The simplicity and attention to composition found in Tonalism contributed to the abstractions that would develop in 20th-century American modernism.
A limited value range contributed to creating mood and emotion. Value, in art terms, is the lightness or darkness of a particular hue or color.
Using a limited value scale creates a subdued composition with little contrast. It’s much like an overcast winter day. Thus winter landscapes are the ideal way to explore this style. The paintings I share with you here are my attempts in a tonalistic approach to winter landscape.
The new year seems to be the universal time to reflect, renew, re-evaluate….and in this writing as with my previous entries, I often find myself connecting a life as an artist to living life. So many principles correlate.
Values in the human experience can be a compass to a good life. They can be large intangible concepts like kindness and generosity. They can be conditions desired for daily living like a quiet house or a lively one. They can be personality traits you may admire in others. Naming personal values can lead to self awareness and self improvement. I strive to improve in my art practice and in my human practice.
Having said that, I created a mantra for myself:
Be Kind
Be Helpful
No Judgement
No Opinion
What do you value? I would love to hear from you!
As always, I am grateful to share my artful journey with you all and from the bottom of my heart, I wish for you the very best in the New Year.
Cheers!
~Donna Theresa

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Summer is Here!

"Gathering" Pastel 15.5 x 11.5 inches


"Ocean Beach"  9 x 12 inches


"Golden Evening" Pastel 9 x 12

In most of the country ( United States ) , summer is hot and sometimes humid...
Here in the coastal haven of Santa Cruz, our summers are naturally cool often waking to foggy mornings that give way to sunshine by midday.
When I first moved to this part of California coming from southern Cal, it was a bit dreary during the summer and I complained..  As time marched on and I aged a bit, I have come to cherish these cool mornings and evenings as it is nature's air- conditioning! I have become less tolerant of heat and so time has placed me in the perfect location!
These recent paintings are my newest additions to my portfolio. Seascapes are a new genre for me and I was spurned on to try them by artist friends and inspiration from other artists in my medium of soft pastel.  I may have found my muse... and to think, the inspiration is in my backyard!
How lucky am I!?
Check out my latest paintings on my gallery page @

Wishing you a cool summer!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Starting off the New Year with a Chirp and a Screech









Happy New Year friends in art and joy! 
I am sharing the joy once again with a few of my paintings.  For the month of January I challenged myself to paint a painting a day for 31 days! Most of these are small little gems....sizes range from 
5 x 7 inches up to 9 x 12 inches. 
This experience gave me so much more than practice.  It gave me a solid goal, a purpose for each day, structure and decision making practice, and the result was rewarding!  Everyday I posted on social media and all my wonderful supporters cheered me on!  All these friends that I only know on my iPhone!  People I will likely never meet.  Yet, each day I reached out and shared and each day they responded with love and support.  
We humans are social pack animals.  We thrive in a group.  We have a biological need to belong.  For some that belonging is narrowed to the virtual world of social media and whereby I really never thought I could belong there....well there I am.  The trick is to stay humble and stay engaged.  It's not a platform to boast or gain "likes"....that stuff is kind of weird...but really if you look at it honestly, it adds some sense of belonging to your life.
Is it real?  That's up to you.  What's real for me at this stage in my life is seeking joy and happiness....and then sharing it.