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Da Vinci Donnelly

June 1, 2012

"I always liked to go to art museums and read about artists' visions and struggles," said Dean Gloria Donnelly, who began exploring the watercolor medium six or seven years ago. After speaking with an artist who exhibited at a local gallery that she enjoyed visiting, Dean Donnelly made the decision to begin painting. She attends group watercolor lessons on Monday nights, which she has been doing now for four years.

Dean Donnelly emphasized that we only truly learn by doing. "The way you learn to paint is to paint," she said. During her group watercolor class she captures still life objects including bottles, fruit, and flowers like African Violets and Geraniums. As a developing painter the dean has even attempted to copy famous artists' work, a popular and challenging exercise for art students. She jokes that she usually portrays the objects on a much larger scale than the rest of her classmates.

Dean Donnelly’s knowledge of other artists is extensive and she will readily discuss the work of Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Oliver Sacks, Maurice Prendergast and famous Chadds Ford realist painter Andrew Wyeth.

During her recent cruise trip to Amsterdam with her husband, Dean Donnelly visited the Kroller Muller Museum in the Netherlands and also began a small watercolor composition during some of her downtime.

The Dean finds painting both relaxing and therapeutic. "When you paint you really learn things about yourself, like how you see things," she explained. However, she pointed out that “watercolor is a very unforgiving medium because you can't repair it and the colors bleed into each other.” She added, "You can only control [the paint] so much, a lot like life."