Meet The Artist – Donna Jarve

Donna Jarve – Watercolor Artist

Artist Biography:

Born and raised in northern Minnesota I was constantly surrounded by the beautiful sights of nature. It’s what has always inspired me and I never get tired of it. There is such beauty in just a simple little weed or a magnificent sunset over one the awesome lakes.

I was fortunate to go to a very small 3-room grade school where the teachers took us on walks in the field and woods and taught us all about the wonders of nature. One of the teachers asked me to do a bulletin board by cutting out some umbrellas and raindrops out of construction paper and pin them to the board with straight pins. No drawing first, just cutting. After that first board, I changed that one and two others every month, mostly by just cutting and pinning shapes. She gave me the picture to copy along with the encouragement to do the boards for the next 2 years.

I had a great art program in both Jr and Sr High in Virginia, MN. Early on, my teacher—Mr. K, asked where I was getting my inspiration from. I showed him a little card catalogue from a popular card company at the time, he said – “throw that thing away, you are better than that”—I was quite angry with him at the time, but now realize it was the best thing any teacher could have said to me. I was exposed to full semesters of drawing, painting, ceramics, and mixed media/crafts while there. Each one piqued my interest in some way or another—I loved all of them.

After high school I didn’t pick up art again until I moved to St. Cloud, MN and decided to take some community education classes in watercolor. I fell in love with that media and pretty much stuck with it. I have no formal art education or degrees in art, but I have taken a lot of workshops from a lot of different instructors. I have come away from each workshop with a new technique or different perspective, but I think in the end, my humble beginnings with those bulletin boards are what has kept the fire burning in me to continue producing art in any way I can.

As well as watercolor I enjoy a whole variety of other fine art and craft activities such as quilting, woodworking, pottery, photography, acrylic and mixed media/collage painting to name just a few. Gardening, walking in nature, spending time with family and friends, thrift store shopping and researching my Finnish heritage are a few other things I also enjoy spending time on.