• Jo Donaldson


    Jo Donaldson
    My background is long as I am 58 years old. I owned a medium sized business of twenty employees for 16 years which I reluctantly sold 3 years ago as part of a financial settlement with my former partner, previous to this I worked in the IT field as a programmer (which I fell into) and accounts.

    Life is quieter now. I miss the hustle and people but not the stress of business. Currently, I enjoy the craziness, challenges and joy of raising one of my Grandchildren who is 5 years old, playing my guitar and finally setting up a new studio space for myself so I can get back to doing something that feeds my soul.

    I have no formal training in relation to art, however, I use the enormous resources available to learn, develop, experiment and obtain new ideas. Work shops and working alongside other artists also provides inspiration and challenges. I am not sure if I consider myself and emerging artist (sometimes when I am happy with what I am painting I am smugly self congratulatory and other times I want to burn what I am painting and wonder about my sanity in thinking I could paint), but I think that painting is much like most things in life, a non ending opportunity to learn.
    • Interview
      • Which new trends or Australian artists do you find inspiring at the moment? I find the work of Pastel Artist Grace Paleg incredible. Her use of the medium is just beautiful.

        Which Australian deceased artist do you most admire and why? I adore the work of Tom Roberts, both his portraiture which is my first love and his landscapes which I am in awe of.

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why? I love visiting all galleries/exhibitions, but the ones which have made the greatest impact on me were those I have been lucky enough to visit in Europe. What I found striking was how close you could be to great works of art, how artists are allowed to be in incredibly close proximity, painting reproductions of a work. It is so accessible and inclusive and feels like what is most important to the gallery is the experience of the visitor.

        Where do you get your inspiration for your work? Inspiration comes from all that you see. I always look at a scene or a person and visualise how I would like that/them portrayed in a painting. The ocean is a favourite inspiration of mine. It is always so calming even when stormy. My dream is to have a studio overlooking the ocean one day.

        Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about? Other than the requirement to be free from outside noise and distractions, I don’t think I have any.

        What do you like most about being an artist? For me, whenever working on a piece, there are always moments of despair and moments of elation. I guess it is the moments of elation which give you hope to continue. Strange as it might sound, sometimes when I am doing a hyper realism piece, the work can seem alive to me and I love that sense.

        How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block? I try to retain my faith in myself and know that sometimes this precedes something wonderful.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date? Having people look at portraits I have completed and make the comment that it’s a beautiful photo.

        Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how? I do not see my painting as a way to impact on someone else’s life further than I hope that it is enjoyable.

        What are your plans for the coming year? To paint and continue to develop and step outside my comfort zone.

  • tahitian morning pastel on card jo donaldson JO DONALDSON
    Tahitian morning
    Pastel on card / 42 x 30 cm
  • angel fish pastel on card jo donaldson JO DONALDSON
    Angel Fish
    Pastel on card / 40 x 32 cm
  • girl with a pearl earring painting jo donaldson JO DONALDSON
    Girl with a pearl earring
    Painting / 60 x 76 cm
  • angel wings pastel on card jo donaldson JO DONALDSON
    Angel Wings
    Pastel on card / 32 x 24 cm