Donna Clouston and Lily
Lily is a a cross between a golden retriever and a standard poodle. She is my buddy and keeps me grounded in the world. We live in a house/studio in the woods outside of St. John’s. We have a wonderful support team of friends and relatives who help me to print and offer creative guidance.
Here is a little about my background.
I was born in St. John’s in 1950, a third generation Newfoundlander. I grew up on Elizabeth Avenue when it was a gravel road in the country. My Father, Don Clouston, brought the first cars for sale in Newfoundland. He often travelled the island checking on his dealerships and would take Mommy and me with him. So, it was at a young age that I had the opportunity to see and get a feel for the Newfoundland landscape. Mommy taught me to embroider and Daddy taught me woodworking. One of my best memories of him is the day he bought me my first chisel. Not the usual father/daughter activity, but both my parents realized I had creative interests and helped in ways they could.
When I was 15, I went to live with my sister Sally and her children in Oklahoma. Sally, more than anyone, encouraged my creative talents. She tolerated my various projects, usually in the middle of the kitchen floor!
I went on to more formal art education at the University of Oklahoma and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. My primary interest was goldsmithing. However, it wasn’t until I returned home to Newfoundland. that I realized how much I had missed the Newfoundland landscape. I worked as a goldsmith for awhile, but it was lacking something I needed. I saw a lot of changes in the landscape from earlier years when I traveled with my parents.
Things did not come together for me creatively, until I was asked to work on some banners for a travelling theatre show. Suddenly I was working with colour and had the chance to portray the unique landscape of our province. I worked in batik for four years and during this time I had lots of opportunity to work with large pieces of silk and images from around the island.
In 1981 I had come to a turning point. I wanted more detail in my work than batik could offer. I investigated silkscreen printing, using dyes on the silk. I developed my own technique and refined my images using many colours and lots of detail. I continued using this method until 1994, when I realized I wanted more control over the printing process. I started working on museum board using water base inks. I found this combination of materials and technique to be a wonderful way to express myself.
For many years I have been using my own paintings as the basis for drawing my silkscreen stencils. In 2014 I had the opportunity to exhibit a collection of my watercolour paintings with my friend Diana Dabinett. We painted luscious florals from our own perspectives. I chose to represents flowers from unusual points of view. I enjoy the flow of watercolour on both paper and watercolour canvas.
I hope my both my landscapes and my fantasy florals bring you pleasure and that you enjoy my site.