Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist


“In Art and Dream may you proceed with abandon.”

Southwest impressionist painter Donna Clair moved from Chicago to Santa Fe in 1967. For the past fifty years the mountains of northern New Mexico have been her home and the inspiration for a large body of fine work. Her trips to Mexico and Guatemala have also become part of who she is as an artist.

Two routes join Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. The most traveled is N.M. Highway 68 which follows the dramatic plateau above the Rio Grande Gorge. The alternate route, called the HIGH ROAD by locals, meanders through the Blood of Christ Mountains — Las Montañas de Sangre de Cristo – winding past centuries-old settlements rich in Hispanic and Native American culture. Donna Clair moved from Santa Fe to the mountain village of Truchas, and has lived and painted in Taos for 30 years.

Donna believes that the quality of her life and her work are inextricably bound to the spirit of this place — the mountains, the mesas, the canyons — the villages, the churches, and most of all the people. Donna explores the back roads — finding places that hearken back to an earlier time. Even though many cities in New Mexico have grown and expanded, it is the life and the culture of the past that continue to keep this artist enthralled.

Click to read article from
Southwest Art magazine,
September 1999

Her visits to Mexico and Guatemala elicit the same excitement and curiosity — and the paintings exude a wonderful mixture of the past and the present through vibrant color and texture.

Contact me to receive images of new paintings/prints.

“The moment I saw the brilliant, proud morning shine high up over the deserts…..something stood still in my soul…In the magnificent fierce morning of New Mexico one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly, and the old world gave way to new. There are all kinds of beauty in the world, thank God — but for a greatness of beauty I have never experienced anything like New Mexico.”

—D. H. Lawrence

Carlos, Light the Farolito

Charming children’s christmas story
Illustrated by Donna Clair, written by Jean Ciavonne.


  • University of Wisconsin Center for Latin American Studies.
  • UT-Austin- Inst. of Latin American Studies

Recommended By:

  • Parents’ Choice Foundation
  • California State University – Centro Barahona – Center for the
  • Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents

Southwest Art magazine

Donna Clair, Southwest Art
February 2002

New Mexico Regionalists
The Land of Enchantment holds
unique appeal for contemporary painters

– by Gussie Fauntleroy


  • 1999 September issue SOUTHWEST ART, Cover Story “A Sense of Place” by Gussie Fauntleroy
  • 1997 LEADING THE WEST: ONE HUNDRED CONTEMPORARY PAINTERS AND SCULPTORS by Donald J. Hagerty published by Northland Press
  • 1993 May issue SOUTHWEST ART “Daily Rituals” by Martha Burnett Goodwin
  • 1991 Oct./Nov. issue FOCUS/SANTA FE “The Beauty that Abounds” by Nancy Ellis.