Born into a family that homesteaded on the Rocky Mountain Front near Dupuyer, Mt, I have a ranch life background. I worked with animals all my life, therefore they became my friends and subjects. Isolation on the ranch made me a self taught artist, so my work is unique in the fact, it isn't influenced by outside forces. I paint many subjects, using my own ideas generated by photos my husband and I take on our photo shoots.
In 2008, I will be exhibiting in the Gun Shows in Great Falls, Mt.
The Arts and Crafts show at the Expo Park.
Invitational Grand National Celebration of Western Art, at the Grand Nationals Rodeo in San Francisco, CA.
I'm an artist on the creation team for the Glory of Horses mural project.
Member shows, Equine Art Guild, Canine Art Guild, WWAO shows.
Gun Shows in Great Falls, Mt
Charlie Russell show, with Studio 706, History Museum, March.
Invitational April, History Museum show.
West Gate Mall show.
Montana State Fair, Expo Park, Battle of the Sexes won Grand Prize, Pastel Division.
Carriage Factory Gallery, Small and Miniature show, Newton KS, Montana Moon won 2nd place prize.
Prior to 2007
My work has been published in Horses in Art magazine, invited to Montana Artists on Display, Butte, Mt, won first place prize in Equine Art Guild international exhibition.
Donna Ridgway was born in Conrad, Mt. Grew up in Valier and loved spending time at the ranch on the Rocky Mountain Front where her grandparents homesteaded. She married and moved to Charlo, Mt where she lived for many years before divorcing. She has two children and some grandchildren. In 2003 Donna found the love of her life, Robert. They both had a yearning to return to eastern Montana where the wind blows and open country surrounds you. They now live in Vaughn, Mt.
When Donna was growing up, she spent her time, summer following, haying, riding her horse across the prairie and caring for farm animals and pets. Art materials were scarce. Donna's main drawing support was the white peice of cardboard that came in her mom's and the neighbor ladies nylon stockings! Since then, she's grown to appreciate archival, professional artist materials! They're so much easier to use.
Ranching, and raising children and animals took a lot of Donna's time before she turned 50, but after that, her thoughts were free to turn to her artwork. She now has a studio that sits in the horse pasture, close to the animals she loves. Pedro the donkey, and Class, her thoroughbred mare, are free to roam around the studio, sticking their heads in the doorway to say hello now and then. Scarlet and Sing Song, the two cats, roam back and forth between the house and the studio. There are wild rabbits in the yard, a marmot, several squirrels and many birds...it's peaceful.
She and Robert roam the countryside, on "photo shoots", gathering material for future paintings (paintings blog here) and photos to sell. You can see her photo stories blog here.
Donna's work has been exhibited and published in many places, the list follows.
Awards and shows.
Juried into The Equine Art Guild International Show for 2001 and 2002, where "Heart and Soul" won a first place award.
Juried into The Western States Horse Expo ,2002 and 2003. One woman show, St Luke's Hospital, Ronan, Mt.
Invited to Montana Artist's on Display, Butte, Mt, 2003 and 2004.
Exhibited at the Charlie Russell with Studio 706, 2006 in the Heritage Museum. Will do so again in 2007.
Featured artist on the Creative Spotlight newsletter, 2006.
Juried into the Newton Fine Arts Small and Miniature show, Newton, Kansas, 2006. In the Newton show, where "Montana Moon" won a second place award.
Two of my paintings were used by the Churchill Animal Protection Society, Churchill, NV art auction in their advertising for the October 2006 fundraiser.
Exhibiting in the Equine Art Guild online show, Interpretations, October-January, 2006. Juried into World Wide Women Artists Online, 2006. Joined EBSQ, a group of self representing artists online. Exhibiting in The Equine Art Guild online show, The Artist's Muse, 2007. Exhibiting in the Canine Art Guild Show, The Artist's Best Friend, 2007.
Robert and I are First Friday artists at Studio 706, Great Falls, Mt. Feb, 2007
Exhibited by invitation at the History Museum, Great Falls, Mt April/May 2007 show.
Donna is a member of Studio 706 art guild in Great Falls, Mt. Equine Art Guild, Canine Art Guild, and World Wide Women Artist's Online.
Articles and artwork have been published in Horses in Art magazine.