Please enjoy viewing these as much as I have enjoyed painting them...
Carolyn Donovan has travelled extensively throughout France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and her native Australia, writing and practising art and its techniques. Her work is a visual journal of wild and beautiful terrain: An ethical approach to nature is evident in all her paintings; making her work both emotive statement pieces and highly desirable.
Beginning her art tuition at a very young age, a strong artistic environment saw her sketching recognisable portraits at the age of two, with both Donovan’s parents encouraging this gift: Her father’s own passion for art and history meant family outings were usually to the latest showing at a gallery or museum. And her mother’s family upbringing was also surrounded by artists – her uncle, George Duncan, and aunt, Alison Rehfisch, forming part of the close-knit bohemian artists’ pack that included other regarded Australian artists Norman Lindsay, William Dobell, Dora Jarret, Grace Cossington Smith, Douglas Stewart and Margaret Coen.
“I know they held wild parties in their city studio,” Donovan recalls. At one such risqué fancy-dress ‘loincloth party’ in their studio, Lindsay did a voluptuous painting of a bare-breasted Rehfisch dancing in a grass skirt - which is still exhibited today.
Growing up in the western suburbs of Sydney, Donovan completed her education at the Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School. Even as a child, she was being commissioned to sketch, illustrate and paint artworks…kindling a passion, technique, and the importance of communicating through art, for more generations to come.
"There isn't a point where I recall starting to draw,” she says. “It was something I felt I was born being able to do. My earliest memories are painting and drawing, and reading: it was my entire life. It surrounded me, fed my imagination and consumed our family activities. I went to an artistic school. My parents were arty. We were always in galleries or making things. So I was always creating, or around other people who were creating."
Throughout the 1990’s Donovan worked overseas in the advertising and design industry throughout Europe, Japan and America, attending art classes wherever she resided. Returning to Australia, she turned her attention to parenting two children, while being involved in organising art therapy workshops, art exhibitions; writing about, and collecting, other artists’ work. In 2005, she undertook more formal Fine Arts training, studying at the Queensland College of Art, Morningside. However, it was the sudden death of her mother that really rekindled her passion for the importance of creating again and she has been a full time artist since 2015.
Using these foundations, heavily layered with Australian culture, rich colours and the unmistakable characteristics of growing up in ‘the land down under’ has made her work highly desirable, featuring in numerous public and private national and international collections.
Look closely for all the lines and squiggles, dots, scratches and markings that make up each painting. She often personalises consigned artwork with words or initials to be discovered with delight by the new owner.
Donovan mainly works on commission pieces and is currently represented throughout Australia, Hong Kong and Japan. Her latest series: A God’s Eye View is raising interest with its boldly coloured aerial abstracts – and she tried to hold on to as many pieces as she could for the current exhibition in New York.
Land Down Under
Australian Consulate-General, New York NY
May 23 - August 30- 2019
Works by Carolyn Donovan
Fig Tree Galleries, Brisbane QLD
February - March- 2017
William Place Gallery, Parramatta NSW
November - 2013
A Little Black
Kouzina Space Gallery, Kenmore QLD
September - November - 2012
Royal Exhibition Show, The Valley QLD
August - 2003
The Russell Terrace Gallery, Indooroopilly QLD
January - March - 2003
ISS Art Show Gallery, Brisbane QLD
November - 2002
Live Painting at Events