"I am a realist painter who draws inspiration from people and objects around me. Many of my paintings are satirical or kitsch with underlying political or social implications."
Over the years, Donelli has developed a distinctive painting style most appropriately characterized as Contemporary Realism. To this end, he blends the techniques of the old world masters line, form, edge and value with the brushstrokes, vibrating colors and light effects of the Impressionists. However, the distinctive contemporary nature of Donelli's unique style is in his compositions and paint application.
The ideas for his compositions come largely from photographs and memorabilia collected while traveling around the world as a research scientist. Donelli sets up the subject matter for his paintings to tell a story. Typically, he emphasizes the main point by using a palette of earth colors for most of the painting with a punch of bright color, such as red to attract the viewer's attention. Thick paint application, detail and value contrast are also used to attract the viewer to the center of interest. He layers color upon color allowing each layer to show through to increase the light, luminosity and emotional intensity of his work.
For the past 20 years, Donelli has been a full-time artist and teacher in Santa Fe, NM. Recently, he has been in 16 museum shows across the USA (twice in the “Contemporary American Realism” show at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in 2008 and 2010) and has shown his work in galleries nationally (NY, CA, AZ, TX, CT, and NM). His four drawing and painting video courses on “Udemy” have more than 125,000 subscribers, and his drawing manual loosely based on the “Reilly” technique is still available on “Lulu” and at Artisan stores.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist