Member Artist Spotlight – Donna Kallesser
- What brought you to painting? How long have you been at it and how much time do you spend doing it throughout the week?
I was always interested in drawing as a kid, anything creative – crafts, furniture, etc. 1980’s painting television peaked my interested . I found a teacher in my town and became a Bob Ross instructor. I started painting and studying flowers with Helen VanWyk and started classes at Ridgewood Art Institute in New Jersey. I had a break in painting because of life, motherhood, and other things. Three years ago had a workshop with Elizabeth and I learned so much from her. Three years with her now. A successful week for me is completing a painting and a pastel, although that rarely happens!”
2. What is your favorite genre when painting? Landscape, still life, figure, abstract? Favorite medium?
Still life and flowers are still my favorite, but I am very interested in landscape. Oil is my favorite medium, pastels for drawing and animals.
3. Is there one or two things that have helped with your progress and given you confidence in your voice and ability?
Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am cancer-free now, but when you get news like that it puts everything into perspective. Perfection isn’t all that important, and I am willing to try new things and to not be so hard on myself.
4. Tell me about your favorite painting that you have accomplished and send me a photo of it to share!
My favorite painting is “White Hydrangea in Mason Jar”. The paintings that mean a lot to me are the “American Flag and Purple Heart” and “Rusty Old Car” both of which remind me of my Dad who passed away far too young. When I was a kid, he and I would sit and draw together, and I was his “helper” when he was working on cars.
5. Is there any artist dead or alive that has had a strong influence on your work and why?
Andrew Wyeth because of the muted colors and subtleties. It is very emotional and moody and I admire that. My natural sensitivity is muted and quiet. I’ve been to his museum in Maine and at the Brandywine.
6. Where do you want to be 1 year from now and 5 years from now?
I would like to be confident enough to put my work out in public, maybe in galleries. I would enjoy selling my work. I don’t want to do it as a job, but just to share in a small gallery. I would like to be more confident with my color, understand it more and make sense of it.
7. If there is anything else you would like to talk about or share with others, please do so!
The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia was a special experience for me. It contains a collection of countless masterpieces and is a must-see for everyone who enjoys a day admiring the art of such artists as Renoir, Monet, Degas, Picasso, Seurat and numerous others.
Enjoy these works by Donna
Donna, thank you for sharing your story. I so enjoyed viewing your fantastic paintings!
Thank you, Betty…….I’m always thinking I can do more and better!!! I’m my own worst enemy!!
Love your work! Thanks for sharing. Wonderful that you are now cancer free!
Deanne, yes, I am one of the lucky ones and glad to be back doing my painting and pastels!!
Donna, your paintings are beautiful. I think your ready for anything you want to do!
Thank you, Cindy……Inspired To Paint came at the perfect time!!
You’re a very talented painter Donna. I am so glad to hear you’ve beaten breast cancer but the whole process must have been terrifying for you. I love the work you’ve posted and I think you’re already “there”, but each painting we do teachs us something we didn’t know so the journey is ongoing, it challenges us and great teachers like Elizabeth and Shanna really make it a fun process. Happy travels!
Thanks, Lind…… Just enjoying painting pastels and seeing everyone’s beautiful artwork!!
There are some great works here Donna. Congratulations!
Hi Donna I wanted to let you know your paintings are beautiful. I especially love the rusty truck. A nice tribute to your dad. I am very glad you are cancer free. Very scary stuff.