Donna Straw


Creating Bite-Size Treats, Island Painter, Donna Straw, Switches Gears
The Vineyard Style Magazine

One afternoon this summer I was out walking with a friend. A neighbor came toward us on the other side of the road. I called out a greeting and said, “I bet you’re painting up a storm.”
“I’m not,” she replied.

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Like the Vineyard Landscape, Artist Donna Straw Is Ever Changing
The Vineyard Gazette

Painter Donna Straw has a new muse. The metallic colors and sharp lines of structures in her past work are out, replaced with muted grays and the organic movement of nature.

She calls it the latest step in her evolution as an artist and a rebuttal to stereotypes of her distinct style.

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Island Artists are Always Evolving

Martha's Vineyard Times

Painter Donna Straw is perhaps known best for her linear based depictions of houses and bird houses. But just two years ago she started working in a more fluid and organic style. She moved away from her former architectural subjects which lent themselves to the striated color block style and more towards Vineyard landscapes with curves and depth. More recently she has combined the two styles, which she refers to as modeling and taping (for the method used to render the straight lines).

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Donna Straw
Martha's Vineyard Arts & Ideas

When I was getting my master’s degree in fine art, I decided to do very large architectural pieces. This was a style I just gravitated to. I was taping with acrylics, where you press the tape down and you layer the paint. It’s a very clean, crisp process. I blow-dry it dry and pull the tape off. It’s very tedious, but I was able to articulate what I wanted to say.

I’ve always loved acrylics. I don’t know if I have the temperament to wait for paint to dry. Then, for a while, I didn’t use the tape at all. I was painting stone walls. I love modeling the rocks; I was rock obsessed. I had felt like if I tape, I’m going to be restricted, so I changed my style. But now I’ve returned to taping. I found it liberated me because it was a style that I had mastered and felt comfortable with before. I could pop the color and play with my love of design in a more stylized and imaginative way. Using imagery, and a color palette that speaks to me emotionally, helps me to make stronger connections to others.

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Cousen Rose Gallery launches season with Donna Straw


Many of the artists who show at Cousen Rose Gallery are regulars, including Donna Straw, whose work will be featured at the summer opening show on Saturday, June 23. Ms. Straw has been represented by the Cousen Rose Gallery for five years. Saturday will mark the opening of her first solo show at the gallery, and she's got a lot of new work to display.

Although her palette relies consistently on understated colors, with a signature sparkle of metallics brightening up her scenes, Ms. Straw paints in two distinctive styles, and both will be represented in her upcoming show.

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Donna Straw
Harvesting the light
Vineyard Style Magazine


Local artist Donna Straw started painting while she was in the sixth grade with encouragement from her teacher who acknowledged a handful of students in the class with artistic interest. Her art education didn't end there, as she later earned a bachelor's in Art Education and master's degree in Fine Art.

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MV Times Article June 15, 2011Painter Donna Straw finds Island Inspiration
By Naomi Pallas, June 15th, 2011

After having lived and worked in cities and suburbs for most of her life, painter Donna Straw found the artistic opportunities she was looking for three years ago when she and her husband, Bill Straw, moved from Valley Cottage, New York, to settle full-time in their Vineyard Haven Home.

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