Donna Stubbs


I am a visual artist working in mixed media painting. My work is abstract, intuitive, and energetic. My process is in response to the materials I use. I don’t follow a prescribed plan. I wait for the painting to tell me where to go. I spend a great deal of time looking and judging. I work on the quiet conversation up close and the loud conversation from across the room. My paintings are abstract with multiple layers of acrylic paint, vintage papers, drawing materials, fabric, and photographs. I take risks on the surface as I discover connections.

Searching for ephemera, deconstructing it, and thinking about it is where my process begins. I pull from vintage magazines, books, wallpaper, found photographs, and my own photography. The collage I add to wood panels, canvas, and found objects begins an internal dialogue with my work. I make marks with drawing tools, and Xacto knives and shapes are found with paint. As the surface begins to be covered in various wet and dry media, I sand, scrape, and rub into the substrate to reveal images transferred to the surface. Revealed information is then responded to. I hide things and show things. This allows the nature of the materials to dictate my path. 

The collage fragments tell the story of each piece and are always related to the title. In my most recent series, I am exploring the traditional feminine portrayal of women and the representation of boys and men through science and other thinking pursuits.  Speaking more clearly now, with experience and age, I have discovered that the process of finding cast-off items that excite me and integrating them into my work is the most important thing to me. These connections keep my artwork alive and give it meaning.

I grew up in Mount Airy, NC, but have lived and worked in Washington, DC and Chapel Hill, NC most of my life. I have an art degree from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, and an interior design degree from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC. I have taken art classes and workshops all my life and recently completed the Art2Life Creative Visionary Program with Nicholas Wilton. I teach art classes to children and adults at my home and through the Arts Center in Carrboro, NC. I worked in the arts as a fundraiser, special events coordinator, and interior designer until devoting myself full time to my art practice.