Donna Timm AKA Donna T


Welcome to the spotlight feature for April (2022) where we are very proud to present artist-member Donna Timm. We've all know her as Donna T here on the forums for a while now, but now we have a chance to get to know her better! Plus, we get to see a few pieces of her absolutely beautiful works of art.

We asked Donna ten questions and loved how she answered each and every one. So, grab a cup of coffee, tea, a glass of water, or your favorite fermented liquid courage, and enjoy reading about this seriously skilled artist who we are thrilled and honored to have with us as a member on Creative Spark. ♥️

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I’m from the Buffalo, NY area and I live in Meridian, Idaho as of last year. I lived in Maryland and Virginia as well as a few years in Iceland and Munich, Germany.

How did you get your start in art?

Art was always my favorite class in school. I had a kind-hearted art teacher in high school who let me hang out in the art room instead of suffering through viola lessons. A figure drawing class with live models was the highlight of my college art experience. It was much less stressful than the chemistry and biology classes I had to take.

1Hilltop Barn.jpg

"Hilltop Barn," pastels, 10 x 7 inches.

Who are your artistic influences?

My earliest artistic influence was Bob Ross on TV. I made it a point not to miss his show because it was the only art show available. When I lived in Maryland, I met an oil painter named Anne Snyder. She invited me to go plein air painting with her at a time when I didn’t know what the term meant. What an eye opener! Her dedication to painting outdoors was a huge influence on me at a time when I was doing little more than copying photos. A few years ago, I became friends with Barbara Noonan, a pastel artist who lives in the Seattle area. Her work is loose, lively and full of expression. Just seeing how she interprets a landscape or a still life keeps me motivated to be more expressive with my own work.

2House Hunters.jpg

"House Hunters," pastels, 12 x 15 inches.

Can you run us through your art-making process?

My process when working in pastels (my primary medium) usually begins with some sort of sketch or Notan to work out a composition and design. I work either on a commercial sanded paper like UArt, or I prepare a surface on heavy watercolor paper with pumice gel. An underpainting is the next essential step for me. Brushing rubbing alcohol or cheap vodka over this initial layer liquifies it and creates soft washes of color. From there I apply layers of color while allowing some of the underpainting colors to show through for interest and depth. I’m learning to use oils and acrylics and find that I gravitate toward the application of layers much the same as with pastels.


"Hickory," pastels, 12 x 8 inches.

What styles of art do you like to create?

I make representational paintings for the most part but am very attracted to work that hovers on the border between abstraction and representation. Landscapes are my preferred subjects and I try to depict more than a literal view; I hope to suggest a mood or feeling that everyone can relate to as well. I’ve done a few abstracts but am very much in the learning phase with them. It’s such a challenge to begin a painting when I don’t know what it’s about and I’m learning to let the painting lead me instead of imposing my will on it.

4Far From Home.jpg

"Far From Home," pastels, 14 x 18 inches.

What would you say is your philosophy about being an artist?

If I have a philosophy about being an artist, it is that we all have something unique to say and there is no right way or wrong way to say it.

Outside of art, what do you like to do?

I like to bake and have been making dog biscuits for the two new puppies in my family. So far they approve of my efforts but then they eat just about anything!

What is something that motivates you that might sound surprising?

I am motivated by views of the mountains that I now have here in Idaho. There were no peaks to observe throughout the day in central NY where I moved from last year. I notice how different they look depending on the weather and time of day. On clear nights the lights from a distant ski lift appear to float in the air and that seems quite magical to me. The great distances that can be seen in the desert inspire me to create more depth in my landscapes – and I must learn how to paint sage brush.


"Autumn," oils, 9 x 18 inches.

If you could give advice to a new artist starting out (or any artist), what would it be?

Advice for a new artist would be to not compare your work to anyone else’s. Learn and grow at your own pace.

Lastly, do you have a website, and/or social media platforms you would like to promote?

I used to have a website but let it go a few years ago. I don’t post on Facebook or Instagram. I show my work on Creative Spark and enjoy the interaction here.

A big thank you to Ayin (Artyczar) and all who make this site possible and keep it up and running!

Donna, you are very welcome, and thank you so very much for your wonderful art and for participating in our little community. We really appreciate it. ♥️
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Well, hello Donna. I imagine you got a lot of , Oh Donna, in your youth. Your art is wonderful and shows your considerate comments on other's art as genuine and informed. Congratulations on being on the road and knowing it is a road and not an end in itself.
Hi there Wayne. You are correct about the song. :) Thanks for such nice words and yes, the art road has many interesting detours, doesn't it?
Wonderful interview! 👏 Thanks for participating and sharing your experiences and processes, Donna.

Your work is fabulous. I had no idea you could render people so well - "Far From Home" really tugs at the heartstrings. Your landscapes always make me want to stand up and cheer. ❤️ I'm so glad you're here!
So great to get to know you, Donna T! I've always admired your pastels. You are an inspiration to try new things and stick with my art. Richard McKinley has some nice sagebrush paintings. :) I'll be waiting to see yours. You live in a beautiful state.
Wonderful getting to know you better Donna. I've always liked your works and it is great to see more of them - just beautiful! I am loving reading more about our members' growth and struggles. This feature helps us get better acquainted with the other members and when we know them better, they become friends. ❤️
Terri, it has been so nice getting to know everyone here! The Far From Home painting tugged my heartstrings to the max: it's my youngest son who thankfully returned safely from overseas. Working on that painting was good therapy for a stressed mom at the time. Thanks for always encouraging my painting efforts!

Jo, I will check out Richard McKinley's sagebrush. He is one of my favorites! I hope to be able to do some Idaho inspired work soon but this desert landscape is still kind of a shock! We had a tumbleweed show up in our yard a few days ago! 😄

Sno aka Margaret, I appreciate everyone who takes part in this wonderful group of artists and it's so nice to meet people from all over! Thanks for your part in keeping me inspired!
The Far From Home painting tugged my heartstrings to the max: it's my youngest son who thankfully returned safely from overseas. Working on that painting was good therapy for a stressed mom at the time.
Oh my word, I bet it was! What a gift you gave to him as well as yourself (and your nerves!). You must be so relieved and happy he's back. ❤️ What a lovely tribute!
Donna, super portrait of your son. We appreciate him and your family for taking care of us. Hugs all around.❤️
hello Ms T! *waves from across the border in Canada :)
your work has a lovely and calming softness to it i really like. great to hear how you approach your art... always interesting to learn from other artists.
Wonderful interview. You are very talented and your works just shine.
I've always valued your comments, Donna, and your artwork. Now I know a bit about who you are. Good on you!
Hi Joy and thank you so much! I'm so happy to have found such a wonderful group of artists here.

Hi Bart - I value your comments as well and admire your plein air pieces and the glimpses of your part of the world. I will keep trying not to envy the gorgeous weather you so often have for your outings! 😄
Ahhh. Now I understand why I value Donna's comments and inputs. They were always welcome, best of luck in creating more eyecandy.