Susan Donati, Checkered Past

Susan Donati, Checkered Past, oil, 76 x 61 cm, $1500

1. Tell us about the artwork you have in the VAM 2011 Juried Show.

)  At one time, I did a lot of portraits, but moved to other subject matter.  I always return to creating them, though, as I am very intrigued by the human face and figurative art.  As far as inspiration goes, I find every face of interest; however, I am more interested in capturing a mood rather than a photo image.  My painting in the show started from a photo I had of a family member in a checkered shirt.

The ghostly image represents the past and the far away expression of the main image reflects a thought process, or musing, about said past.

It actually took me quite a long time to capture what I had in mind and I ended up using an abundance of red as I see that in faces.

Usually, I do a painting per week and this took longer as I had to keep going back to it.

2. How and when did you first become interested in creating art?

I have painted all my life.  My very first painting was at the age of 4 – I was lucky to have artists in my family.

3. What do you think of the art scene in Mississauga? Where do you see it heading in the next ten years?

The art scene in Mississauga is improving all the time.  We have many very good artists living in Mississauga and the Art Gallery, VAM and MAC ensure that we are in some way represented.  I would like us to become more international (other than AGM) and to erase the stigma of art buyers feeling that anything west of the 427 is both too far and less worthy than the downtown venues provide.  I think this is a matter of competitions and advertising to correct.

4. What advice would you give young people who want to become artists?

I am often asked how to get into the art world and I always suggest that young artists take courses, become involved in local competitions and put themselves out there.  It is in great part a matter of confidence and self-worth which are, of course, hard things for any artist, young or old.

5. What do you have lined up after the VAM Juried Show? For people interested in finding more of your artwork, do you have a website, blog, Twitter account or gallery?

I am represented by a gallery in Yorkville, Leonardo Galleries, so my work is often there.  I have an exhibition coming up with MAC at a law firm downtown, beginning next week.  I am a guest artist a couple of times a year at Victoria Park Gallery.  My website is:

See Susan Donati’s Checkered Past at the Art Gallery of Mississauga in the VAM 33rd Annual Juried Show until February 26th.

Voting for People’s Choice Award ongoing until February 26th. Ballots available at Gallery reception.

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