Studio Visit Book Vol. 1

Donna Stubbs

About the Artist

Donna Stubbs is a mixed media artist from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is focused on acrylic painting combined with her original photography and found ephemera on wood panels. She uses traditional and experimental tools and techniques to create her work. Her approach is archeological in that she creates layers of disparate elements, only to remove them to reveal what is below. Donna grew up in Mt. Airy, NC. graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, and from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC. She has exhibited her work since 2012 while working as a commercial interior designer and became a full-time artist in 2020. She is represented by Frank Gallery in Chapel Hill, NC and 5 Points Gallery in Durham, NC.

Artist Statement

Meaning in my work cannot be expressed by one medium alone. Acrylic paint, vintage books, magazines, found photos, cut scraps of clothing, tissue paper, and my own photography are some of the items I include in my work. I begin with found paper and images that interest me on a personal level. I create layers with these disjointed images and paint over and around them. I make marks with drawing tools, sand, scrape, and rub them into the substrate to reveal images transferred to the surface. Revealed information is then responded to. I hide things and show things. This archeological approach allows me to fuse old and new together while I discover exciting things happening on the surface.

Working with abstraction allows me to intuitively play with imagery, texture and mark-making. Whimsical characters, animals, and suggestive forms often appear in the chaos of paint and line. A sense of place and time develops. A loud and quiet conversation takes place until a stillness is found. This evolution is central to balancing my art and how I know when the piece is completed.

Speaking more clearly now, with experience and age, I have discovered that the process of finding visual clues that excite me and integrating them into my work is where I find my inspiration. Painting is about physically working the materials on the boards. I am constantly trying new things, working with new materials, and deconstructing my work. These connections keep my artwork alive and allow me to express my creative vision.

What is your “Dreamland” ?

Support from other artists is my lifeblood. I couldn’t do this without having people to talk to about my work. I learn from them and they inspire me. The artists I work with, the ones I interact with on social media, my close creative friends and my talented daughter all lift me up. Being an artist is my dreamland.

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