Fibre Artist – Donna Polos, Burnaby BC
Donna Polos works with colour not only in her fabulous painted landscapes but also in her wonderful, whimsical gardens. I recently had the pleasure of spending time with her and learning more about her work.
Outside her home her spring gardens are flourishing and attest to her loving care. The children’s tree-house is now a favorite place for summer afternoon painting and a small greenhouse is a mix of art and plant seedlings. Look closely at her rock gardens and one can find discarded running shoes and other items filled with plants. Every inch of her home and gardens speaks to Donna’s artistic talent.
Donna began her art journey following an illness. She enrolled in watercolour studies with Terresa Bernard and pursued these studies for a number of years before exploring other media.Over the years, she has surrounded herself with art. Underfoot one finds painted floor cloths, on the table, painted table mats. On the wall vibrant paintings. Drawing on a background in quilting, she moved from paper and canvas to painting and embellishing fabric.
Donna is currently working to produce the same subject matter on canvas or paper and on fabric and plans to display the paired art together in her next show.
Many of her pieces begin as painted whole-cloth pieces which are embellished with hand stitching and sometimes other media before being quilted and shaped into wall art. Colours are rich and the texture she achieves via stitching add dimension that makes her art sing.
Donna’s home vibrates with colour. She has now completed so many pieces of wall art that she rotates them regularly throughout her home and they provide a focal point for the many pieces of coloured glass and vintage furniture that she and her husband have collected over the years. Together, they make a visit to her home delightful.
Donna has extended her artistic skills to the creation of wearable art. I couldn’t help drooling as she brought jackets, vest and purses from her closet, each a lush combo of piecing, painting, stitching, couching, beading, layering and so much more! She claims to have recycled early art pieces into some of these garments!
Donna, a former teacher, has taught artists via nine art residencies. She spent a number of years teaching art to students within the school system and to teachers via professional development courses. She was one of the original group who started the Fibre Art Network and continues to exhibit with the group.