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Dona L. Walston

I learned a long time ago that I must be passionate about what I paint: if the passion isn’t there, the painting falls flat.  The things I am passionate about all come from nature: sun/shadow patterns on flowers and leaves, red rocks sheltering over me.  I am always passionate about water.  These few recurring themes have always encompassed my art. 

I am a shape maker; compositions must be varied and interesting to cause me to pick up a paintbrush. I reject the formula of compositions that we are taught.  Sometimes I work myself into unresolved situations. and feel as though I am reinventing the wheel.  But after all, it is the process that engages me.

 A relatively new passion is snow covered mountains and glaciers: new reasons to travel! The patterns/shapes the snow patches make on the mountain and the mountains’ outlines, one in front of another, are important for the compositions I want.

I love color; my dearest aim is to create paintings that ‘sing’.  I found that creating painting after painting of mountains in snow was leading me dangerously close to two tone paintings, so I went back to lessons about mixing subtle grays with tints of other colors in the watercolors.  And I returned to my beginning lessons in oil paintings and laid in pink impasto under the sky colors for the acrylics, trying to sneak some color into the mountains. After almost a year of painting rocks and mountains, my need for bright color led me to the painting of the fall leaves I so enjoyed in Vermont.

A boat ride on Lake Powell this past summer provided lots of new inspiration.  The red rocks of Arizona and Utah (where I grew up) deliver all the elements I require: water reflections with blues against complementary peach colors, diagonal lines and interesting shapes within the rock formations and lots of variation in color shown in the patterns of light on the rocks.  Expressing movement in water as well as recording the patterns of the light and reflections on the water will engage me far into the future.  

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