Donna Downey!

Last year, I discovered an awesome scrapbook store a couple hours’ drive away when Tim Holtz taught several jam-packed classes there. From their mailing list, I learned that Donna Downey was scheduled to teach this past weekend.  (They get only the best teachers at She Scrapbooks!)

Since I work nights, I had to take a miss on two of the classes, but couldn’t resist signing up for Pan Pastel Painting, even though I’d only get a few hours of sleep beforehand.  A giant iced coffee from Mickey D’s and a fun, entertaining class were the perfect combination to keep me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed all afternoon!

Donna is a great teacher; very laid-back, friendly and more than a little goofy, which of course I adored!  Unfortunately my bestest gal pal, Terri, was unable to come along, but as a fan of Donna’s, asked me to find out what that tattoo on her arm says.  Donna was more than happy to oblige!

inspired donna

(Is she adorable or what?!!)

So, this was definitely not a “scrapbooking” class – which shouldn’t surprise anyone, since I don’t take scrapbooking classes.  Donna explained that Pan Pastels are a fine art medium and we would be making art!  We were all pretty nervous at first, but after Donna demonstrated her simple process and we started putting color to canvas, the worry soon turned to wonder!

Using printouts of photos as our guide, we created two pieces.  They seem similar, as they are both pictures of trees, but the technique for each was very different.  On the first one, we used a sponge shaped like a finger to put down the color and then gently blend.

tribble trees 1

While I think these look more like Tribbles than trees, I am very pleased with my first foray into fine art!


Whenever someone complained that theirs wasn’t as perfect as they liked (such as me, complaining about tribble trees!), Donna would say, “Okay, but when you got here today, did you think you could have done this?”  Oh, heck no!  Wouldn’t have had the first idea how to even begin.  (Thank you, Donna!  You rock!)

The second piece was made using a triangular sponge, which added the texture of the pointy fall leaves.  My landscape seemed a little plain, so I added a “redneck fence.”  (I called it that to explain why it seems to be put together hastily from reclaimed wood, and take the heat off my lack of skill as an artist.  Heh.)

tribble trees 2

Yeah, there’s still a little tribble going on, but at least these have actual branches.  🙂

After seeing the canvases made in Donna’s earlier class, painting with stencils, I wish I had signed up for that one, too!  (Who needs sleep, right?!!)  I’ll know better next time!


One Response to “Donna Downey!”

  1. Terri Says:

    Tribble or not, these are amazing~ You did good Chicky! Thanks for the picture of the tat. I knew it would be a good phrase, or motto?

    Again, your paintings are stunning!

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