About the Artist:
Donna Savastio graduated from University of Wisconsin in 1982 with a degree in Fine Arts with emphasis in drawing, painting and printmaking. She has since had her paintings, sketches, prints, and photographs included in numerous juried shows, invitationals, and both group and solo exhibitions across the US, including in Wisconsin, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, and across New England. Some of her more recent showings include a curated show for the Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Brooklyn, NY, and as a lending artist for the Corporate Program at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA.
“My work starts from nature, but rather than trying to imitate its appearance I want to reorder the landscape to reflect the way that I experience it. My foremost concerns are light and color, which I use as agents of volume and form as well as mood. The mood is very important to the work, and I alter color and composition as necessary, my goal being the depiction of my personal response to the landscape.
Traditionally, the aim of landscape painting was to record a realistic portrayal of a scene or vista. I put myself in the middle of nature so that I can truly experience it instead of merely being an observer. While I love the beauty and philosophy of the genre and want to set my work in that historic continuum, I don’t want to be limited by it. Instead, I seek to share the strong feeling of mystery that I feel when I am in the woods, knowing that there are many things going on around me that I am not privy to.
I use several strategies for translating my own very personal response to the landscape. Traditional materials and methods are employed. My paintings have many layers of glazing, my prints employ different intaglio techniques and my drawings are made with ink, brushes and bamboo pens. Key to my process are the square format black and white photos that I shoot in the field. The photos help me to gather information from my time spent in the woods, aiding my memory later when working in the studio. They also provide me with an index card-like reminder of specific moments that are memorable. The square format from the photos often transfers to my images, helping me to move away from the conventionally horizontal oriented shape of a landscape painting.” (Donna Savastio)