Have you ever fancied yourself as an artist ? Local Artist -Donna Gibb says we all have the capacity to create incredible art, we just need to be shown how. Donna is a talented Brisbane artist and owner of the business pARTy ARTworks which hosts events like hen’s parties, birthdays, art classes for adults and children, paint and pour sessions and much more. Donna is also one of Brisbane’s few live artists. She can come to your wedding, anniversary, birthday celebration or event and paint live. Her speed and skill is astonishing.
Donna also gives back to the Brisbane community. She is an ambassador for the Zig Zag foundation and paints live for many local charities, most recently being seen painting live at the ‘Dance For Daniel’ held at City Hall. She Brisbane caught up with Donna to find out more about her awe inspiring talents.
Tell us a little about yourself
I am firstly the Mum to three grown up children- Hannah 22, Calvin 21 and Matthew 18. Although they are adults they all still live at home! ( Donna secretly loves this fact.) I was married to my husband Terry in June last year and he has three grown up offspring and four grandchildren ranging from 7 months to 7 years old. This is a great foray for me into being a grandparent , although they all know their real Grandma is in heaven. We have a busy, bustling blended family.
Have you always wanted to be an artist?
After a career in television and juggling my art part-time I decided to start my business – pARTy ARTworks, where I paint live at events and invite guests to add to my canvas. I have been fortunate enough to paint live at events where sporting icons, politicians and celebrities have added to my artwork before it is auctioned for charitable causes.
I have been privileged to paint with guests at weddings and birthdays and other celebrations. It is fabulous to be able to share my joy of art with so many people and show them that anyone can paint if they are just shown how! Just over three years ago I opened the pARTy ARTworks studio where my team and I delight in teaching adults and children how to paint in regular classes. We host ‘ Paint and Pour ‘ sessions (wine and cheese art classes), as well as catering for parties of all types for the young and old.
What did you want to be as a child?
I dared not even dream that I could one day be an artist. So I turned my thoughts to a career in television as my Dad and brother were both in the Industry. To be really honest I would have loved to be a full –time wife and mother.
What are you most proud of ?
My children. They are kind, respectful, hardworking and great company. It is a joy to watch them now develop and follow their chosen life paths.
Which person inspires you most?
That’s a tricky one. I have been blessed to have so many influences and inspiring people in my life. I have to go back to family here. My husband Terry has watched his beautiful wife of 35 years pass away due to stomach cancer, and yet he has no bitterness and a wonderful outlook on life. Every year he participates in a challenge to raise funds for cancer research.
Last year he raised $ 10 000 by embarking on a 24 hour fitness challenge with 11 others at our local gym. Their commitment to the challenge was mind blowing and whenever I am struggling I reflect on this 24 hour period and it gets me motivated again.
What was a life changing moment for you?
Coming up with the pARTy ARTworks concept. I was working crazy hours at Channel 7 for the 2000 Olympics, juggling art classes and family life. I invited a diverse group of friends over for Friday drinks and thought it would be fun to get out a canvas that all could add to, just for a bit of fun. One of my friends suggested that I turn the idea into a business and pARTy ARTworks was born.
What drives you and what are the biggest lessons you’ve learned in life?
I am driven by my passion to capture the beauty of the world on canvas but also by the necessity of putting food on the table.
Personally I have learned that ‘You can’t rely on someone else to make you happy’. In business ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’. Diversity is key… You have to have plan B, C and D.
My quote to live by is ‘If you’ve given something or someone the best of yourself, then you have no regrets’.
What are your top 3 bucket list items?
To live by the sea with my art studio looking out across the vista.
To travel the world and paint live at major events.
To experience a white Christmas with my family.
What’s next for you?
I am currently working on Art Tuition videos. I am confident I can bring a unique perspective to teaching art online.
What are your keys to happiness and any highlights in your life?
Happiness is having more time to relax with my family and friends and capturing a sight live on canvas that inspires me there and then. Nothing better than painting ‘plein air’.
The highlight of my career has been painting in Monet’s garden in Giverny. I had the whole garden to myself. It was an incredible experience to immerse myself in his inspiration.
In Brisbane you might spy Donna painting outside in some of her favourite spots – In both the City and Mount Cootha Botanical Gardens or capturing the beauty of Moreton Island.
For more information you can visit pARTy ARTworks or Donna Gibb Artist online.