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 Donna Clair  (1939 - )

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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Illinois      Known for: landscape, floral, figure, and genre painting

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Ad Code: 4
Donna Clair
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from McLarry Fine Art:
Captivated at once by the landscape and architecture of northern New Mexico, Donna Clair has been painting the area surrounded by Santa Fe, Taos and the high mountain village of Truchas for nearly forty years.

Clair was born and raised in Chicago and educated at the University of Illinois, the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, and the Art Institute of Chicago.  In 1967 she moved to Santa Fe as the single mother of a two-year old son and 6-month old twin daughters.  She worked full time as a legal secretary, but supplemented her income by teaching painting workshops and selling her artwork.

Motivated by financial necessity, Clair was producing an extraordinary number of paintings each year.  Over time Clair’s painting changed drastically as she developed the style by which her work is now immediately recognizable.

Inspired by countless childhood hours of embroidery, her experience using pastels and the French pointillist style, she uses pure, rich colors, which she applies individually in strokes which are blended in the viewer’s eye and not on the canvas.  She works wet on wet in numerous layers made more vibrant by her underpainting.  Her technique lends a sense of movement to her works which compliments and balances the solidity of her imagery.

Donna Clair’s work has been featured in a number of books and periodicals including Leading the West, Art of the American West, and Southwest Art Magazine.  She has lived in Taos, NM for the past 18 years.

Biography from Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery Santa FeTucson:
Donna Clair was born in Chicago, and attended the University of Illinois, the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

For the past thirty years, she has lived in northern New Mexico. I ntrigued by the way colors blend in the eye of the viewer rather than the canvas, and fascinated by the techniques of French artist Georges Seurat, Donna has developed a distinctive painting style marked by crosshatched brush strokes.  She works wet on wet, layer upon layer onto the canvas, bleeding colors into one another, their vibrancy enhanced by the underpainting (Hagerty, Donald J. "Leading the West, One Hundred Contemporary Painters and Sculptors." 1997)

Donna Clair calls her painting her "Divine Madness," and it is obvious that the landscape of New Mexico is her passion.  She creates a powerful combination of vibrant colors and bold composition. Donna considers the high mountains of northern New Mexico her spiritual home and roams the hills and canyons, absorbing the play of light on the landscape.

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