Photography
© Ely Abrums and Laura Walker

Donna Clair

Southwest impressionist painter Donna Clair moved from Chicago to Santa Fe in 1967. For the past forty-five years the mountains of northern New Mexico have been her home and the inspiration for a large body of fine work. Her trips to Mexico and Guatemala have also become part of who she is as an artist.

Two routes join Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. The most traveled is N.M. Highway 68 which follows the dramatic plateau above the Rio Grande Gorge. The alternate route, called the HIGH ROAD by locals, meanders through the Blood of Christ Mountains — Las Montañas de Sangre de Cristo – winding past centuries-old settlements rich in Hispanic and Native American culture. Donna Clair moved from Santa Fe to the mountain village of Truchas, lived and painted in Taos for 25 years and now resides in the small village of Tesuque, New Mexico.

Donna believes that the quality of her life and her work are inextricably bound to the spirit of this place — the mountains, the mesas, the canyons — the villages, the churches, and most of all the people. Donna explores the back roads — finding places that hearken back to an earlier time. Even though many cities in New Mexico have grown and expanded, it is the life and the culture of the past that continue to keep this artist enthralled. Her visits to Mexico and Guatemala elicit the same excitement and curiosity — and the paintings exude a wonderful mixture of the past and the present through vibrant color and texture.

 

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