Donna Zagotta Contemporary Figure Paintings

About the Artist

I was born in Chicago, Illinois. As the only child of two passionate musicians, I can’t ever remember a time when art, creativity, and music wasn’t a part of my life. I made the decision to become serious about my art in 1984, giving myself a year “to see what I could do.” And the rest, as they say, is history! My paintings have been exhibited internationally and across the USA. They have accumulated numerous awards and appear in many publications. In 1990 the University of Michigan School of Art invited me to create and teach a 400 Level summer watercolor course. This first experience with teaching art ignited a strong passion that put me on a new and unexpected life path teaching watercolor workshops nationally and abroad.

My work has always been anchored in the fertile area that lies between pure representation and pure abstraction. Over the years my work has slowly moved from the representational area towards the abstract area. It is a journey, and I suspect that there will be no final destination. Subject matter often becomes a grounding element, but my primary focus is on expressing myself authentically with abstract design and non-representational color, line, texture, pattern, and mark-making. My paintings are shaped by life experiences, memories, and what is imagined. They evolve through a trial and error process of deliberation, experimentation, and improvisation. I put paint down and then change it, cover it up, remove it, or completely change direction. Every change leads to a new discovery, and the process continues layer by layer until I see something that touches my heart. I am searching for an image that feels alive with feeling. I often find that the “story beneath” my paintings are autobiographical, and I hope my viewers will find their own stories there as well.

Juried Signature Membership, American Watercolor Society
Juried Signature Membership, National Watercolor Society

American Artist Weekly Magazine 5/15/2018 “In the Studio With Donna Zagotta and Carla O’Connor”
Choices Magazine Spring 2016 “An Interview with Donna Zagotta”
Watercolor Artist Magazine December 2015 “Ones to Watch” nomination
Watercolor Artist Magazine February 2015 Juror Statement
Watercolor Artist Magazine April 2014 “The Color Project”
The Art of Watercolour September-November 2013 feature article “Simplifying Shapes”
Watercolor Artist Magazine April 2013 feature article “Don’t Forsake Opaque”
Watercolor Artist Magazine October 2010 feature article “Altered Sensibility”
Watercolor Artist Magazine October 2009 feature article “Watercolor Chronicles”
Watercolor Artist Magazine August 2009 “Inside the Artist’s Studio”
Watercolor Magazine, 2008 Summer feature article “Opaque Color – Bold Design”
Watercolor Artist Magazine, April 2008 feature article “Make a Statement”
Watercolor Magazine, Spring 2006 feature article “Design Solutions: Painting in Series”
Watercolor Magic Magazine, March 2005 “Watercolor Basics: Color 101”
International Artist Magazine, June/July 2002 feature article “Adding Body to Watercolors”
Watermedia Focus Magazine, Issue 27 “An Artist Worth Noting”
The Palette Magazine, Issue 3
The Artist’s Magazine, March 2001 cover and feature article “Go Wild with Color!”
Watercolor Magic Magazine Yearbook 2001 “Ones to Watch”
International Artist Magazine August/September 2000 “International Prize Winners”
D & D Magazine (Italy) 1990 cover and feature article “Painting Sunbathed Interiors”
The Artist’s Magazine September 1989 feature article “Painting Sunbathed Interiors”

“Creative Watercolor Workshop” by Mark Mehaffey, Northlight Publishers 2005
“Watercolor Expressions” by Betty Lou Schlemm, Rockport Publishers (cover)
“Splash 1”, “Splash 2”, “Splash 4”, “Splash 7”, “Splash 8”, Northlight Publishers
“The Best of Watercolor”, Rockport Publishers 1999
“The Artistic Touch 2”, Creative Art Press 1997
“The Artistic Touch”, Creative Art Press 1995