Monday, December 30, 2019


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.
~Donna Theresa

The Daily James

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