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Donna McGinnis was born in Spokane Washington and grew up in an artistic family.  Her mother was an artist, her grandmother a musician and her father a photographer.  Drawing came naturally to her, as she had very vivid memories of admiring her father’s black and white photography.  These silvery prints inspired McGinnis.  Through his love affair with the still image, McGinnis learned composition, Chiaroscuro (light and dark tonality), form and line, in essence the basics of formal art theory.  McGinnis took early private art lessons and later went on to major in art in high school and then was awarded her Bachelors of Arts at Washington State University.  After graduation, McGinnis moved to California and settled in San Francisco.  With a degree in graphic design, McGinnis soon found employment as a color consultant for Fiberboard Co.  Here she selected interior and exterior color palettes for housing developments.   It was during her spare time that she pursued her own artistic aspirations of painting full time.  With dedication, McGinnis began selling more and more until her dream of becoming a professional artist became a reality.  She currently lives and work a s in Northern California and maintains a studio in Petaluma. 

The Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco includes three of her drawings in its permanent collection and her work also appears in other numerous private and public collections.  She has shown her work at the Oakland Museum, Arkansas Art Center, Triton Museum of Santa Clara, Crocker Museum in Sacramento and several other public spaces and galleries.

McGinnis paints in the landscape and abstract genre.  Her works are contemporary and modern in composition.  Both styles of painting are developed in the same way.  Neither the abstracts or landscapes start with preconceived ideas.   With the swirling of brushwork and layering of glazes, McGinnis creates her signature style of softness and a painting that glows from within.  


B.A. Fine Arts, Washington State University

Selected Exhibitions:

2018            “Pairings”, Arthaus Gallery, San Francisco

“Portals”, 555 California, Casey & Assoc. Art Advisors, San Francisco

2016           “Nature Abstracted”, Cathy Baum Associates, San Francisco

2013           “Sky and Land Views”, Cathy Baum & Associates, San Francisco, CA

2012      “New Work”, Sandra Lee Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2011           “Paintings”, Art Institute of California-Orange County, Santa Anna, CA

2010            “Artist Event”, SFMOMA Artists Gallery

2009            “Keeping Art Alive”, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA

2009            “Landscapes”, Sandra Lee Gallery, San Francisco - Solo           

2008            “30th Anniversary Show Invitational”, SFMOMA Artist’s Gallery, San Francisco - Group

2007            “Triton Triumph”, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA - Group

2006            “Landscapes and Vistas”, Chelsea Gallery, Palo Alto, California - Solo

2004            “Landscapes Real and Ideal”, Oakland Museum of California - Group 

2003            “New Vistas”, William Merrill Gallery, Laguna Beach, California -Solo

2001            “New Work”, I. Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, California - Solo

2000            “Landscapes Remembered”, Museum West, Palo Alto, California - Solo

1998             “Drawings”, Pima College, Tucson, Arizona - Solo

1998            “National Drawing Invitational”, Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas - Group

1998            “California Small Works”, California Museum of Art, Santa Rosa, California - Group

1997            “Works on Paper”, Berkeley Art Center National Annual, Berkeley, California -Group

1996            “Drawings: Realism to Abstraction”, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, California -Group

1995            “Natural Inspirations”, Freeport Art Museum, Freeport, Illinois - Group

1994            “Objects, However Humble”, California Museum of Art, Santa Rosa, California - Group

1992            “The Common Object”, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California - Solo

1992            “Art in Embassies”, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Group

1991            “Paintings”, Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, Oregon - Solo

1989            ”Three Women Artists From California", The Eva Cohen Galleries, Chicago - Solo                             

1985             “Paintings”, The Oakland Museum Collectors Gallery - Group

1985            “Recent Acquisitions”, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco - Group                       

1983            “Gallery Artists”, Quadrum Gallery, Boston - Group

1982             “Subjective Realities”, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco - Group

1981            “56th Crocker Art Museum Annual Exhibition”, Sacramento - Group

1981            “Triton Museum of Art Annual”, Santa Clara, California - Group

1981            “National Drawing Exhibition”, Minot State College, North Dakota - Group

1981            “Achenbach Acquisitions”, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco - Group

1980            “Drawings”, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Gallery - Group

1979            “Drawing Exhibition”, Guggenheim Gallery, Orange, California - Group

1978            “Contemporary Drawing”, The Haggin Museum, Stockton, California - Group

Selected Awards:

1996            Marin Arts Council’s Individual Artist Grant, San Rafael, California

1982            SECA San Francisco Museum of Modern Art nomination

1982            The Grumbacher Art Award

1982            Best in Show Cash Award, Bay Arts ‘82

Selected Collections:

The Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock

American Express, Minneapolis           

The Resort at Pelican Hill, New Port Beach, CA

Banco Panamericano, Costa Rica                                   

Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas

California State University Sacramento

Chevron Land and Development, San Francisco

College of the Mainland, Texas City, Texas

Conrad Punte Del Este, Uruguay

Interbac, Peru                                                                                                                          

Robert Flynn Johnson, Curator Legion of Honor, San Francisco

George Lucas


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