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Donna Cohen

Donna Cohen

Donna is an abstract expressionist. “I don’t paint sunflowers. I mean, sometimes I do, but they don’t look like sunflowers, they just feel like them. I imagine the blind are likely to have more quick and certain descriptions of my work than I do.” She paints what she sees in her head, but that’s rarely an overall image: “Rather, I see each tiny little brush stroke as a painting all its own, after which I go stand at the back of my studio as far away from my canvas as the space will allow, assessing what that last brush stroke contributed to the whole, pondering what stroke must be next, even if that stroke is totally painting over the last stroke.”

Donna has been a painter as long as she’s been herself, since childhood at least. She has working “titles” or image names for her paintings while she is working on them, but these words are just musical noises that allow her to quickly and easily get back into the eye, the voice, actually the palette of the artist who is painting that particular piece. (Always Donna, but also always a different time and part of herself for each piece.) The captions go away as soon as the piece is done, and then she assesses what’s finally there, the story that is being told by the piece, better the feel of the piece in all its complexity and flow, and that leads to an actual title for gallery use.

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