Manila artist, Dan Donovan, will have his work featured at the Ritz Theater Gallery in Blytheville beginning Sept. 1.
Donovan, originally from New Mexico, is best noted for his oil paintings of Southwestern landscapes, cowboys, horses and Indians. Since moving to Arkansas, however, he has transferred his interest to the scenery around the Big Lake area, the cotton fields and people in and around Northeastern Arkansas.
For the past several years, the majority of his time has been taken up with painting commissioned portraits. This end of his painting business has extended from the Manila area into southern Missouri.
Some of the painting he has enjoyed is recreations of scenes from the past, some of which have included the old railroad depot and the Dunkin ice house and mule barn in Manila. A few of his other works depict the old days of cotton farming when things were done by hand.
Donovan now makes his home in Manila with his wife, Linda, an art teacher at the public school in Cooter, Mo.
Donovan is mostly a self-taught artist showing an interest in art at an early age when he won a prize for his drawing of an apple at school. He has always loved to draw and the most natural subjects were those that he was around the most, horses and cowboys. His older brother, a horse trainer, would take Donovan to horse shows, rodeos, and livestock sales.
Donovan was introduced to the field of photography when he served in the U.S. Air Force. Art and photography were natural allies and the camera soon became a valuable tool in his art.
After leaving the military, he worked at a Minnesota television station as a still-promotional photographer and commercial artist. It was here, working along side professional artists, that he was able to study new techniques in the use of oils.
Donovan returned to New Mexico and while still working in television soon gained recognition through the local galleries. Donovan designed logos and brochures for ad agencies, the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, the Parks and Recreation Department, layouts and renderings for builders.