Art Adventure Gallery

joanne donaca

  • Rolling Hills and Yellow Flowers
  • By the River
  • In Full Bloom
  • Mirror Pond in Fall
  • Green Lake and South Sister


Joanne Donaca is a native Oregonian. With a mother and a father who had their own artistic abilities—her mother of European descent and her father of Native American and European—it was only natural for Donaca to acquire and incorporate their influences and heritages.

In high school she was fortunate to have an art teacher who encouraged her and inspired interest in trying all media. She won awards for her work throughout high school, developing a love for art that would only grow with each passing year.

From those first encounters with art, Donaca has worked in virtually all media, ranging from pencil drawings, pen and ink, soft pastel and oil pastel, watercolor, to acrylic, oil, and clay. The Pastel Society of America, the Northwest Pastel Society and the Pastel Society of Oregon recognized her excellence through the award of signature membership in these organizations. Since she began painting professionally in 1987 most of her art studies have been independent and self-directed.

For Donaca, all nature appears as a painting just waiting to be created. She derives great pleasure from her work, a solid body of paintings which now numbers in the hundreds. Her favorite picture…she laughs, "the next one I paint!"

"What fascinates me about artwork is the wide variety of art created and preferences for that art…we all have our own tastes. The common goal throughout my art: to generate a strong emotional response. I strive to capture that in my art—the unique ability to entice people to interact with pleasure when they view my artwork and to feel connected to it in some way.

Originally I wanted my artwork to depict scenes and objects fairly accurately. As I changed from pastel, watercolor, and acrylics to oils, the transition was natural - moving toward impressionism, painting quickly and suggesting shapes. What drives me artistically and motivates me to paint presently is to challenge the viewer to interpret what he views rather than defining it for them. I prefer to minimize and let the viewer finish the painting in his own mind, and in this way he becomes linked with my painting.

Challenge is a big factor in my life. Painting gives me great pleasure and satisfies that desire for challenge."

Joanne Donaca’s landscapes are highly sought after for many reasons: her competence in creating powerful images through bold brushwork; her masterful use of natural light; and, a lighter, highly colorful palette first introduced by the French Impressionists. "There is nothing delicate in my paintings," she says.

Inspired by her artistic mother as a child, Donaca won art competitions throughout high school. In the late '80s, after raising three children with her husband Richard, she returned to honing her exceptional skill; she decided to pursue painting in oils in the late '90s after being inspired by a Monet show she saw at the Portland Art Museum.

"The Cascade Range and the High Desert as well as the animals, natural beauty and diverse geography of both climates are ideal for painting and, of course, a constant inspiration," she notes. Recently Donaca’s works have included the lush gardens and vineyards in the Willamette Valley as an acknowledgment of the landscape where her husband grew up. These larger-scaled, two and three-piece landscapes reach eleven feet by four feet.

Donaca is frequently featured in shows in the resort community of Sunriver and is in demand to do demonstrations at the Sunriver Lodge. She delights the adults as well as the young children who eagerly congregate around her waiting to take their turn with a brush on her canvas of a painting in progress. "Their exuberance and enthusiasm is exhilarating."

Donaca participates in shows at the Sunriver Lodge Upper Gallery with Billye Turner, art consultant - phone cell: (503) 780-2828 and phone office: (541) 382-9398; Lawrence Gallery in Sheridan and Salishan, Oregon; Browns Gallery in Boise, Idaho; and Falcon Crest Gallery, Mirror Pond Gallery, and Art Adventure Gallery all in Central Oregon.

joanne donaca, psa, nps, pso

OBJECTIVES: Observe client’s enjoyment of my artwork.

SELECTED EXPERIENCE: 1987 to current

  • Seventeen one person exhibitions, twenty-two group shows, eighteen juried and invitational exhibitions.
  • Seventeen limited edition prints.
  • Three front covers for magazines.
  • Poster for Assistant League’s Kitchen Kaleidoscope in 2006.
  • Commissioned for area map, poster for sports event, and calendars.
  • Instructor for art class through Central Oregon Community College Continuing Education.
  • Instructor in art for group and individual workshops.
  • Visiting art instructor in an elementary school.
  • Instructor for private lessons.


  • Artistic – oil, watercolor, soft pastel, oil pastel, acrylic, pen & ink, clay.


  • 1968 to current—Workshops and continuing education with nationally known master artists Delbert Gish, Howard Carr, Tom Browning, Bill Herring, Carolyn Lord, Judy Betts, Liz James, Linda Doll, Jan Kunz, and Kevin Macpherson.
  • 1966-68—Associate of Science in Business and Minor in Art, Central Oregon Community College, Bend, Oregon.


  • Oil Painters of America
  • Pastel Society of America, Signature Member
  • Northwest Pastel Society, Signature Member and Charter Member
  • Pastel Society of Oregon, Signature Member and Charter Member
  • Watercolor Society of Oregon
  • Watercolor Society of America, Sustaining Associate Member
  • Arts Central, Central Oregon Arts Society
  • Jefferson County Arts Association
  • High Desert Art League, Charter Member and past Chairman


  • High Desert Art League Charter Member and past Chairperson
  • Central Oregon Community Education Advisory Board Member and past Chairman
  • KIDS Center Board Member and past Secretary
  • City of Bend Sign Review Committee past Member
  • PEO Sisterhood Chapter AI Member and twice past President


  • Flying, numerous sports, continuing education, volunteer for various community interests.