Covington artist Donna Landry Duffy always felt a connection to art, but it was the encouragement she received from her third-grade teacher that stayed with her into her adult life. When she reached St. Scholastica Academy in Covington, she studied art history with Francie Rich, and Duffy credits her time there with expanding her perception of how artists translate the natural world.
She attended Louisiana State University and later Southeastern Louisiana University, where she majored in art education. A visit to Montana in 2004 at the invitation of her brother brought an opportunity to work on a painting commission. It was the beginning of a renewed and focused interest in mediums including paint and variegated metal leaf as Donna explored the subjects she knew best – the aquatic life of fish and water plants. She remembered her fascination with subtle color variations visible in the scales of fish she noted whenever she rode along with her father on the back of his shrimp boat traveling through the coastal marshes and offshore fishing grounds near southeast Louisiana.
These remembered experiences informed her choices. Water and movement seemed essential. Color and light were even more important tools. Abstract lilies and vibrant Koi are her subjects of choice these days, and she paints them in series, a process many artists use to explore subjects of great interest.
Her inspiration comes from photographs, information from conversations or texts, objects and spaces all familiar to her. She lived on a farm, and it was here that she realized how perceptions of the world are dictated by one’s experiences and expectations. She uses repetitive elements, such as specific objects whose meaning is amplified by sequencing, always providing room for interpretation. Hers is a mix of reality and invention in determining space.
Donna is now curator and co-owner of Tripolo Gallery located in Covington, Louisiana.