Donna Howard - Artist and Official Boss of Myself

Artist Statement


I used to drink a bit.

When I decided that I’d be better off if I put down the stemware, I needed something to fill a big empty space. I knew I liked art. I actually studied painting back in the 80’s. So armed with a 50% off coupon I hit the craft store. Like a bird I’m a sucker for shiny things and the silver Liquitex tubes caught my eye. At home with a few small canvas boards I began at the beginning. The memories I have left from childhood. Me sitting in the grass with a daisy, me sitting in the grass alone, me sitting in the grass while happy children played around me. It spiraled down from there. Turns out most of my childhood memories were pretty awful and I realized I was primed for exorcising a few demons.

My paintings are meant to be whimsical and kind of quirky despite the sometimes desperate cry for help they really were. I needed to twist up my dark world into something colorful, comfortable and safe. Work I could laugh at and ultimately make peace with. My characters, the birds, cats, fish – whatever, are typically self-portraits or family members. They help tell the stories.

I believe my style of painting stems from a wish for a bit of control over an out of control life. Layers of brush strokes build upon each other like mesmerizing little geometric color studies. I use a nearly dry brush technique in order to have the most control over the paint. You can often see the lines of the ink used to draw out the canvas. A little bit is added – or left behind if I feel it enhances the work.

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