Artist Donna Barlup has been creating art since childhood. She primarily works in watercolors and finds much of her inspiration in nature. Donna considers art to be a process of lifelong learning. Her work will be on display at Cornerstone throughout February. Stop in to meet the artist February 2nd from 2-4 pm.
– – – – –
Tell us briefly about your background & how you got started in your medium.
I am a graduate of Kutztown University with a BS in Art Education, and I have taken many post-graduate classes. I taught in Harrisburg School District for six years and Northern York County School District for 30. Four years ago, I retired; it was then that I began to paint seriously. I am currently President of the Susquehanna Valley Plein Air Painters as well as a member of the Mechanicsburg Art Association, Louisiana Art Association, Daily Painters of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society and Baltimore Watercolor Society, where I have been juried to signature status.
How does your medium inform your viewpoint? Or what do you like most about your medium?
I like watercolors because of the challenge: Watercolor must be planned ahead. There is no correcting your mistakes. These “mistakes” can change the direction of a painting, often in a most pleasant way. I also like the fact that watercolor lets me paint both soft, ethereal paintings and ones with strong contrasts and vibrant colors. I am constantly trying new ways to improve my paintings. Sometimes I have success with new techniques, and other times they are failures. Either way, I learn from the experience.
Who or what have been your artistic inspirations?
I paint a variety of subjects, and I am continually taking photographs that I use as inspiration for my paintings. I find inspiration from nature and enjoy painting en plein air. I frequently take painting classes because I find I can always learn something new. In March, I intend to take a workshop led by the renowned watercolor painter Paul Jackson.
Do you have a favorite piece in your portfolio?
I have many favorite paintings in my portfolio. “Forgotten,” which was featured in the Keystone National Works on Paper Exhibition, is one of my favorites. I also like “Brooklyn Transport,” which was displayed in the Pennsylvania Art of the State 2013 exhibit at the Pennsylvania State Museum.
What would be your advice for artists just starting out in your medium?
If I had to give advice to someone who has just started painting in watercolor, or who is thinking about it, it would be to persevere. It is not an easy medium, but it is fun to use. Be yourself, and let the paint lead the way.
– – – – –
Donna Barlup has been creating art for most of her life. She became interested in drawing and painting as a child; over time, with encouragement from family, friends and teachers, art developed into both a passion and a career.
After graduating from Kutztown with a BS in Art Education, Donna taught visual arts in public schools. Working as a teacher helped Donna master a variety of media, including ceramics, textiles and jewelry making. Of her experience teaching, Donna has said, “It’s been…wonderful…to foster the development of so many of my students into gifted and talented artists. But now I’ve retired from teaching, and I have time to devote to my passion.”
Painting in watercolors is what Donna truly enjoys, as well as working occasionally in acrylics. She believes that her education in art will continue throughout her lifetime. Donna has said, “I hope to continue growing and improving, and I hope that some of my skills and talents can…touch others.”
See more of Donna’s work at www.donnabstudios.com.