Books, Spot Light - Christa Martin, Visual arts

Christa Martin: Artist Donna Bourne’s encounters with grasses

Photo by rr jones.

Photo by rr jones.


When the Catamaran Literary Reader recently came out, names of people involved with the ambitious and noteworthy journal kept popping up everywhere. (It’s a great read, by the way, if you haven’t yet checked it out.) Amongst the pages was the artwork of local painter Donna Bourne whose images (part of her “Grasses Series”) were paired alongside two writing selections.

“I began painting the Grasses Series in 2008 and was an artist in residence at the 17th Avenue Studios at the time,” says Bourne. “Catherine Segurson (founding editor of the magazine) was a member there at that time and appreciated these paintings. When she was developing her first issue of Catamaran she e-mailed me and said that she’d been looking at my website and found these paintings from this series that she wanted to use in the magazine. It was the first I’d heard of the magazine. It’s a wonderful publication and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

No doubt Catamaran is equally pleased to have her. Bourne’s work is remarkable — rich oil paintings that detail landscapes found in Santa Cruz and beyond. “Even as a child, I would marvel at the view (of the ocean) and wanted to paint it,” Bourne says.

While most of her friends were art majors in college, Bourne studied biology. After graduating, when her friends went out to parties, Bourne stayed back and taught herself how to use watercolors. As time went on, this led to creating cards that were sold at places like Capitola Book Café. Now, she’s a professional painter, with her work having been seen in numerous local restaurants and galleries.

She has a particular affinity for painting the elements. “Water captures the light in such a dramatic way and I marvel at the way it reflects,” says Bourne. “The mystery and movement of water provides endless opportunities to develop style and technique with paint.”
If you’re curious to see her work, visit her website or check out her gallery showing at Stripe in March.


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