Donna Sappington: An Artist's Heart

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Artist and Matthews-resident Donna Sappington’s success as an artist is the result of talent, authenticity, and following her heart.

A military “brat” who has lived all over the world, adventure is the seed for Donna’s creativity. Her spirit is palpable and a large part of the charm imbued in her artwork.

Donna came into art mid-life. After a long career in department store retail, staying ahead of trends and behind the scenes as a fragrance buyer, Donna jumped ship to follow her heart and pursue her passion for creating and selling her own art.  Perhaps that buying stint instilled in her the optimistic directness that is necessary to navigate life as an artist.

That metaphorical jump paired well with her literally jumping ship: Donna is an avid diver. Her adventures underwater often inspire sea-themed paintings that guide the viewer through a different world, an underwater universe where the paint on her paintbrush is the tour guide.

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Whether working out of her home studio or with her arts family at McDowell Arts Center, Donna is building a cohesive portfolio with seemingly disparate approaches. Be it an abstract poured-painting of water, a rhinestone mixed-media canvas that recalls the pattern of a sea urchin, or a fanciful fairy sitting on a toadstool, each piece has Donna’s signature style, her own authentic artistic fingerprint. Under the moniker Tangled Line Designs, Donna’s paintings are, in fact, made of tangled lines, but with a charming deliberateness that takes her work far beyond doodling.

With each piece, Donna grows more and more sure-footed. As an artist, she’s always pushing to do better and perfect her approach. While there’s always a note of those zentangles, the doodling style that brought her into art, it’s an eye for color and pizzazz (without becoming garish) that are evolving into something spectacularly Donna.  Often applying a hint of flair that hearkens back to her corporate days, glitter and rhinestones add a whimsical touch and bring Donna’s imaginative fairies and mermaids to life. 

Donna and her art are colorful proof that following your heart leads to adventure and inspiration.