Donna Howard - Artist and Official Boss of Myself

Artist Statement


Art tells a story. Whether that story lasts a moment in time or an eon, there it is for you to respond to. There it is for you to interpret and make it your own. I think art asks you to cozy up close for a minute and listen. And you will. You’ll listen to the ones that catch your attention. Maybe you’ll think of them next week or next year and realize how they imprinted on you. There’s art in your life, and there’s a reason you have it. It adds something to your existence! Another dimension. Maybe a smile or a laugh, perhaps a sense of beauty or horror or joy. Art can give you exactly what you need. 

My paintings are meant to be whimsical and kind of quirky despite the sometimes-desperate cry for help they really are. I need to twist up my dark world into something colorful, comfortable and safe. Work I can laugh at and ultimately make peace with. The titles are often integral to understanding the work. My characters, the birds, cats, fish – whatever, are typically self-portraits or family members, and 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. In an effort to wrangle in the anxiety of wide-open spaces, I investigate the not-so-negative space for both its similarities and uniqueness. Layers of brush strokes build upon each other like mesmerizing little geometric color studies hoping eventually to land on a harmonious color scheme that either eases or adds to the tension. I use a nearly dry brush technique in order to have the most control over the paint.


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