I wanted to take some time to pay tribute to some of the amazing talent we have here in the city of Windsor. I am constantly, and consistently impressed by the amount of truly talented artists, craftsmen, and musicians in our area. In an effort to call attention to some of these individuals, and shine some light on their work we here at Twisted Studio have decided to start a series of articles focusing on local talent specifically.
When it came to deciding who this first article would focus on, I had no doubt that it had to be Donna Jean Mayne; the lovely and talented sculptor, painter, and mentor. I had the pleasure of first meeting Donna during my time with her at the Windsor Art Studio when it was located in the old Sandwich Town Firestation. Donna was the coordinator there, along with JoAnne Weston. Both these ladies are tremendously inspiring, and I was immediately humbled by their presence. I felt like they could see right into me, who I am as an artist. They could see through my ego and helped me do the same. I had a questionnaire to answer before being accepted into the program, and in hindsight I’m sure they had a good laugh at some of my answers. All the same, I was accepted…what would follow would be one of the greatest learning experiences of my life.
My time at the Art Studio was spent completing small projects, each one Donna had chosen to help me develop some other facet of my artistic skills. The same could be said for the other artists working there. The projects ranged from shading (an area I THOUGHT I already had nailed), to textures, and portraits. Every day that I went home I was excited to talk about what I had learned, and my appreciation for my mentors grew and grew. Donna was a wonderful teacher and guide, I”m sure it was not always easy to deal with multiple artist egos. Never the less, she did it in such a way that we were all well aware of the developmental path down which we were being led.
I learned so much during my time with Donna at the Art Studio. Many of the lessons I’ve been able to apply to a number of projects since. Every now and then, I find myself working on a piece and I can almost hear Donna’s voice telling me about mixing my colours (A neutral gray? Really?), or encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone (like mixing a texture compound into a painting of snow-covered rusty metal). Long story short, even though my time at the Art Studio ended some time ago my respect for Mrs. Mayne continues to grow. Recently, she completed her own website dedicated to the stunning sculptures she has produced. I certainly encourage you to check it out, there are some beautifully tranquil pieces shown, and I”m sure she has plenty more in store.
Thank you Donna, for being such a great artistic asset to our area. Your talent is an inspiration to your peers, and anyone else you meet.