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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Donna Surprenant

Donna Surprenant was born in Massachusetts, USA in 1953. Since she first began painting over thirty years ago, nature and art impel her to live with brush in hand. Her love for the great masters of light throughout the centuries has drawn her to museums across the country and Europe, and over the years she has participated in numerous workshops to further develop her skills of perceptual paintings.

In 1981 she moved to Canada to become a member of Madonna House, a Catholic community of men and women where she resided as a full-time painter. This rich experience of reflection and activity gave her a unique environment within which to paint. The motifs for still life come from an awareness of the beauty and silence offered in an ordered arrangement of humble objects. Gathered from the community’s kitchen or garden, they reveal an intimate world of place and presence. She discovers in the process of painting their complexity of colour and texture, their light and form, a visual poetry which teaches her how to see with greater clarity and quiet joy.

"Painting is for me a response to the experience of light and color, and to the beauty I see in nature and in art. It is the search to know, to discover this visual and interior beauty through the act of painting a human face, a simple bowl, or a landscape. Living within Madonna House for the past twenty years, this response has come to encompass our communal life, our daily work and liturgical prayer, offering to me, and thus to the painting, a reflection on the inner harmony and tension of reality."

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