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Donovan Gay


Donovan Gay

About Donovan

I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and was exposed to strong bright African light and colour from an early age, and come from an artistic family of painters, sculptures and designers so I was constantly exposed to creative environments. I desperately wanted to study Fine Arts but that never happened for me. I spent most of my adult career working as a teacher in Steiner/Waldorf schools exploring my artistic qualities teaching painting, drawing and creating chalkboard drawings for my classes.

My life has been one of regular movement living in Johannesburg, London, Sussex, Snowdonia, Aberdeenshire and currently Cardiff. Painting has always been a passion but something I only had time to achieve in my spare time, often in the summer holidays. I have gravitated towards portraits as they pose a greater difficulty and I like the challenge of getting a likeness right. Initially at school I only used acrylic paints but once, one dark winter night in Snowdonia, I tired oils I was sold, hook line and sinker. I am happiest sitting at my easel, the smell of turpentine in the air and Nina Simone playing in the background.

I am starting to explore more than just portraits and I am looking at creating series of paintings exploring a theme. I have been lucky to be asked to complete a number of commissioned portraits and I hope to expand this work and build a substantial portfolio of work. Recently I have decided to commit myself full-time to painting and I hope to begin to make a living from my work.

A selection of Donovan's work

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