“Full of personality”
“The eyes are looking right at me”
“Amazing eyes captured so expertly”
“Follows my movement with relentless gaze”
These reactions reflect appreciation for Donna Krenicki’s artistic talent and innovative digital dog art.
Donna grew up in Connecticut, and she has been creative since a child. Her father encouraged her to paint, and her mother taught her to knit, crochet, embroidery and sew. Eventually, those interests led her to earn a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Connecticut.
Married for thirty-four years, Donna and her husband John have three kids and two kids-in-law, a dog, a grand-dog and a grand-cat.
Living in Awe
Donna Krenicki found the ideal settings where she can pursue her passions and care for herself. She and her husband live on Longboat Key in the winter and Cape Cod in the summer. As a result, Donna photographed these soul-stirring sunsets.
Young Onset Parkinson’s Diagnosis
Donna was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease in 2010 when she was forty-nine-years-old. For at least five to six years before that conclusion, she was told her symptoms were due to menopause. Since diagnosis, she only has a minor tremor. She also has been successful in silencing her symptoms such as dragging left foot, stumbling, and cramping hands, arm and feet due to three commitments.
Body, Mind and Medicine
Donna believes that keeping her body and mind active is not negotiable. Therefore, she stays active physically by walking, running, swimming, playing tennis, golfing and biking at least two hours a day. Although she has always exercised, one hour a day was common prior to Parkinson’s diagnosis. Through her creative endeavors including painting, knitting and cooking, she is active mentally. Finally, she takes medication. She says “the effect Parkinson’s has on my art is that I paint much more because I know I have to keep my mind active. I feel I need to get it done today because who knows what tomorrow brings.”
Open to Innovation
Her love of dogs is a powerful inspiration. However, her method of painting digital dog portraits was discovered by happenstance. Donna shares, “I paint on my iPad using my finger. I use an app called Sketches. I found the app while I was sitting in an airport, trying to pass my long layover time about four years ago. I was immediately hooked.”
During the first six months of digital painting, she concentrated on flower and food still lifes. Then she experimented with buildings and cities. Meanwhile, her dog Abby was patiently waiting to be her Muse. All it takes is one look at Abby’s portrait and you know Donna is going to be in demand for pet commissions for a long time to come!
Digital Dog Portraits and A Cat
Not to be overlooked, the grand-dog and grand-cat digital portraits were Christmas presents for the kids.
Donna describes her style of art as contemporary realism. “I paint realistically but not photographic real. I like to stop painting when the subject begins to be recognizable. I use bold, intense layers of color.” When she paints with acrylics and oils, she works in her home studio, often in the evening.
Donna creates digital artwork wherever she carries her iPad. “I paint in bursts. Sometimes five to six hours a day. Sometimes days go by without painting. But I do draw/write in a journal every day,” she says. It is not unusual for a person with Parkinson’s to experience creative bursts of activity. Prior to Parkinson’s diagnosis, she was busy raising her children and driving them around. Months would pass by without any painting.
Open For Business
During the summer of 2018, Donna exhibited at the Artist Cottages in Orleans, Massachusetts for two long weekends and three weeks. This charming group of eight garden sheds located at Orleans Market Square is available to Cape Code inspired artists to sell and showcase their work.
Keeping In Touch
If you would like to commission Donna or to see more of her work, please visit:
Question: Of the art featured in Donna Krenicki’s profile, which one is your favorite and why?