Virginia has found a passion in painting she never anticipated. She began to paint to ‘help a friend’ by enrolling one of her classes and found that art changed her life profoundly.
"Painting feeds my love of travel and vice versa. My sense of place deepens dramatically when I can immerse myself for a few hours, analyze what draws me to a particular spot and paint from the heart. I can feel the wind, recall the soft sweet smell of the grasses, remember the old man walking his dog as I treasure my paintings done en plein air. Even studio work allows me to revisit a special place from a plein air study and become so engrossed in my work that I can almost put myself into the painting. Each work has encouraged me, challenged me and rewarded me all at the same time."
E. Virginia Palen Donovan has been a life-long resident of the Hudson Valley and is intent on working to promote a public interest in the rich heritage of the area. Through her award-winning art, Virginia has sought to portray her love of the river and the valley.
Her work is currently hanging in private collections from Japan to Germany, and Arizona to Maine. She has studied watercolor with internationally renowned artists such as Robert Wade of Melbourne, Australia, Barbara Nechis of California, Tom Lynch of Illinois, Frank Webb of Pennsylvania, Judi Betts of Louisiana, and Janet Walsh and Mel Stabin of New York State. In addition she has been studying oil painting with Mary Anna Goetz and Christie Scheele and has taken workshops from Hongnian Zhang in Woodstock. Her passion for painting allows her to combine her desire to expand her horizons, paint, photograph, travel and meet new people.
She also creates beautiful jewelry from precious stones and gems - many of which are found on her travels. She also will create special jewelry for your special occasion.
Virginia is a partner of The RiverWinds Gallery in Beacon, New York. She co-chaired the First and Second Annual got art? Auction for Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie. Virginia was also the Treasurer of IBM Art Club and curated many art shows for the Hudson Valley Artisans Guild.
Virginia has long been active in the Bannerman’s Castle Trust, a local group organized to promote interest and support of the preservation of Bannerman’s Island, currently owned by the State of New York, Taconic Parks Commission. She has participated in numerous Bannerman’s Art Shows and Artists on the Rock painting events and auctions.
Virginia is retired from IBM after more than 35 years of service. She is on the Board of Directors for Bannerman’s Castle Trust, and has been a member of the East Fishkill Historical Society, Save the Esopus Commission, Mid-Hudson Photography Club; and an associate member of the North East Watercolor Society, IBM Art Club, Woodstock Artists Association and the Barrett Art Center.