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Donna Turgeon is the owner of Art A La Carte Gallery in Occoquan, Virginia and an award winning artist who began drawing and painting as a child. She also is a scientist with 30 years experience as a biological oceanographer, marine ecologist and diver. She is a published scientific illustrator and author of 50 journal articles and books. Her scientific background gives her a unique insight into the subjects she paints, that include seascapes, birds, and other animals. In the next few years, Donna plans to add coral reefs and African wildlife to her art repertoire.
Donna has created 300 original paintings in watercolor, acrylic, pastel, and oil, and hundreds of limited edition prints. Her realistic style and color application are the main reasons that her artwork is compared to James Audubon, Georgia O’Keeffe and Andrew Wyeth. Whatever medium, her paint is laid down in fine layers, which gives greater intensity and depth of color to the watercolors and a heightened three-dimensionality to the acrylics and oils.
Donna loves animals and recently went on Safari in South Africa and Zambia. She walked with adult lions, rode an elephant and played with cheetahs. When Donna focuses on an animal subject, she seeks a private moment with them and attempts to capture behavior and poses that are unusual and seldom observed.
When Donna paints she sees the work completely in her mind before she begins. If not interrupted, she can work as much as eight hours without realizing the time that has passed.
Donna grew up on a small farm in East Freetown, Massachusetts, a rural coastal community just north of New Bedford. She had an impressive portfolio by her senior year in High School. She has a degree in Fine Arts from Northern Virginia Community College, a BSEd from Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts, an MA from The College of William and Mary, and a PhD from the University of New Hampshire.
In 2001, Donna received a grant to conduct a scientific expedition of the coral reef ecosystems of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. For six weeks, she and 100 elite reef scientists cruised over 1200 miles aboard two large ships north of the Main Hawaiian Islands. Their destination was ten little known remote, rarely visited islands and numerous atolls, pinnacles, and shoal waters. With seas as high as 18 feet, they launched small craft Zodiacs to survey underwater reef habitats by SCUBA diving, photographing, and preserving unusual specimens. A year later, their published results included the discovery of over 100 new species of animals and plants.
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