Portraits: Oil Paintings

Artist Statement

We wear our lives on our faces. These portraits of people I’ve known or who have caught my eye each tell a story in their own quiet way.

Using oil on wood, each painting is made quickly, in one sitting, in order to keep the loose, fresh quality of a sketch. The size is intentionally small in purposeful contrast with the greedy, loud, and overstuffed society reflected directly in much contemporary art of recent decades. I am attached in a visceral way to the fluidity of oil paint and the nuanced textural and lighting effects it facilitates, as well as traditions in portrait painting, although I am affected, in my attempts to capture glimpses of complex characters, by the post-Freudian dissolution of the self in the age of virtual reality.

Donna FestaDonna Festa has exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Miami. Festa has work in both public and private collections, including the State Museum of Pennsylvania. Her work has been published in Cleaver Magazine (December, 2013), Fresh Paint Magazine (October, 2013), INPA (vol. 1 , 2011), INPA (vol. 2, 2012), and New American Paintings (Mid-Atlantic Region vol. 51, 2004).

Festa is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where she earned a four-year certificate in painting; the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she received a BFA in painting and teacher certification; and the University of Hartford in Hartford, Connecticut, where she received an MFA in painting.

Her studio is in her home in Bangor, Maine.