Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

HOW I PAINT – FIELD WORK:  CHOOSING MY SUBJECT MATTER.  Before leaving Chicago for Santa Fe, N.M. 48 years ago, I was able to be one of thousands who lined up at the Art Institute for the major Andrew Wyeth retrospective.  After waiting in lines that stretched almost to Lake Michigan, we were only given seconds to view each painting.  This exhibit had a powerful effect on me in that I realized Wyeth focused on what he knew best – his own love of place where his spirit was completely “at home”.  After visits to Mexico and Guatemala, it took me a while before I came to know “my place”.  This knowing settled in slowly once I came to know and love northern New Mexico – especially my sometimes home, Truchas, and the surrounding villages.  Authenticity is important to me – I paint what I know – and especially the places I love best. 

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