One of my passions for oil painting is the chance to get lost in the play of paint within areas of minute detail. Pushing about color, values and mediums to describe form, lighting effects or complex relationship of shapes is an act of creation which strikes deep to my artistic being. Through edge control, blending, superimposition, texturing, glazing, and numerous other approaches to the application of paint, I receive tremendous enjoyment from the process of discovery and implementation. I love the tactile sensation of manipulating materials, watching them interact, and struggling to make them work towards my intent. Every new image requires a modification to the approach and keeps the act of painting challenging and refreshing.
Rather than just provide the broad overview of the finished compositions, I thought to share with you intimate passages which speak to my love of imagineering, reflecting the combination of life observations with that of creative design. I bring you a step closer to my inner thoughts and methods…
Born in 1967 and raised in Colchester, Vermont, USA, art was always a hobby for Donato as a young man, he would steal away into the basement of his parents' home to work on drawings, create his own maps for the game Dungeons & Dragons, paint figurines, read comics, and construct model tanks and dinosaurs. His love of imaginative play dominated his childhood, both indoors and out. At the age of twenty Donato enrolled in his first formal art class, the beginning of his professional training. Immediately after graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Painting from Syracuse University in 1992, Donato moved to New York City to immerse himself in the inspired and varied art scene. Formative years in the early nineties were spent as the studio assistant to the preeminent figure painter Vincent Desiderio, and long days of study in the museums of New York. It was then that his love and appreciation of classical figurative art took hold. He continues his training even now, visiting museums regularly, learning from and sometimes copying original paintings by Rembrandt or Rubens, attending life drawing sessions with illustrator friends and constantly challenges himself within each new project. Pilgrimages to major museums are his preferred reason to travel.
Donato has released a revised hard cover compilation of his works on the theme of J.R.R. Tolkien, Middle-Earth: Journeys in Myth and Legend from Dark Horse Comics.