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Donna Alber-

My belief is that as an artist I am a product of all my life experiences. Living in the Hastings, Nebraska area since childhood, I have always been fascinated with art and interior decor. In the late 1980's I was going to art shows and critiquing the artist's work, saying to myself how I thought the work could be improved. Then I thought instead of being critical maybe I should try this for myself.

I took drawing and painting classes at a local college and attended a variety of workshops. My early success was in doing pastel portrait commissions. Watercolor and acrylic still life and landscape paintings were to follow. My goal was to capture a likeness of my subject matter and have a good composition with a strong value pattern. Then I came to a crossroads.

My work, although it was selling, no longer seemed relevant. I was not enjoying the process. Gradually my interest drifted from realism to abstraction. Working in mixed media and taking a more playful and experimental approach, I found my art becoming fun and challenging again.

Having worked for a major paint company for 12 years I found myself being influenced by trends in color and decorating. The design elements used to decorate a room are very much the same as those in a work of art. Color is to me the most powerful element of design and is usually the inspiration and means I use to express emotion in my work. I also rely on the use of line and geometric forms in my paintings. The use of palette knives and trowels along with the paint brush has helped me to achieve some of the effects in I admire in other artist's work.

A large part of my collage process is creating my own materials. A few days are spent mixing and staining tissues when starting a new series. These papers are then embellished by adding more color, textures, patterns,stamps, strings, etc. Just the the process of making my own papers, discovering "little gems" can be a favorite part of the creative process. These papers are then layered onto the canvas. I save remnants from each project and work many of them into the new works. I allow layers of color and texture to develop and suggest the direction the painting should go. I work with it until it feels complete.

Currently I exhibit and sell my work at art festivals in Nebraska and Iowa. New in 2009, I am being represented by Bartenbach Galleries in Grand Island, Nebraska.

UPCOMING SHOWS:
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JUNE 27-28
ART FEST MIDWEST
Des Moines, Iowa

JULY 12
ART IN THE PARK
Kearney, NE

AUGUST 2
ART IN THE PARK
Hastings, NE

SEPTEMBER 12-13
ROCKBROOK VILLAGE ART FAIR
Omaha, NE

Donna Alber

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