Artist Donna Barnako has been deeply involved with knitting design and artisan jewelry construction for 25 years but developed her passion for abstract painting only four years ago. Her paintings are inspired by color and joy, and her palate incorporates humor, energy, warmth, and memories of family and travel. An exhibition of Barnako’s recent work, Pigments of My Imagination, will be on exhibit at the POP-UP Gallery, 64 Main St., Wiscasset Village, during the Wiscasset Art Walk on Thursday, Aug. 30, 5-8 p.m.
According to the artist, her abstracts embody bold splashes and many layers of color augmented by collage materials assembled over the years: vintage lace, old newspapers, sheet music, metal, scraps, and fibers. Her collages can be whimsical and may include cowgirl boots, vintage autos, and farm animals while her abstracts are mysterious and intriguing. Not being a representational artist, she says, frees her to tell a story while experimenting with various materials and methods. Her tools include paper towels and palette knife, but rarely a paint brush.
"To me abstract art is very personal. It is all about opening your soul and expressing it on paper. It's very intimate, involving, and satisfying. It's about depth of color, transparency, surprise, texture, gestures and mystery. Every one of my paintings is an expression of me,” she says. She also encourages viewers to find their own stories in her paintings.
Barnako and her husband Frank, a self-described “aspiring photographer,” along with their French Briard dog, Pippa, have had a home in Wiscasset for 13 years. They spend winter months in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Barnako has exhibited extensively at galleries in Virginia, Maine, and South Carolina. During the Aug. 30 Wiscasset Art Walk, Barnako will be present to talk with visitors about her work.
Participant sites are marked with colorful streamers and touring maps are available throughout the Village. Lead Sponsors for Wiscasset Art Walk 2018 are Donna and Frank Barnako. Major Sponsors are Ames True Value, Big Barn Coffee, Carl M.P. Larrabee Agency, Carriage House Gardens, First National Bank, Peter H. Eaton & Joan Brownstein Antiques, Red’s Eats, and The Maine Real Estate Network/Chris Almasi, broker; with additional sponsors Emotions in Writing and In the Clover. For more information about Wiscasset Art Walk, please visit www.wiscassetartwalk.org or contact event organizers Lucia Droby at firstname.lastname@example.org or Violet Brandwein at 917-327-1449.