Co-op Student Explores Permanent Collection - Doug Donley

February 14, 2020

Doug Donley : The beautiful and bold depictions of animals

Hello WKP Kennedy Gallery patrons, I am Kun Nguyen, the new gallery co-op student. On my first few days I am familiarising myself with the gallery's permanent collection. The stunning permanent collection at the WKP Kennedy Gallery is home to visual arts of all types. Out of many of them, the works of artist Doug Donley caught my attention. Doug Donley was a prolific artist from Sudbury and passed away in 2005. He produced a huge body of work - from drawing, painting to sculpture. He is most known for his colored pencil drawings depicting mythical creatures and wild animals, such as the Unicorn or Fish which is in our permanent collection. That’s right, the gallery has a drawing of a Unicorn in permanent collection! It’s obvious to me that Donley had a playful imagination, in fact I discovered he was also a poet.

Fish is not the most common subject matter, however in 1990 Donley had started working on a series of fish drawings almost exclusively. Donley himself described his fish drawings :  “You see, there is no easy answer for why fish, as there is no easy answer for why creativity has a place in our changing culture, there is no easy answer for why I use paper. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that few easy answers exist.” His style isn’t fussy and has an authentic whimsical feel which makes it really fun to look at. His work is also very honest, if he draws a sheep, he names it “Sheep”, if he draws a lizard in a cup, he will name it “Lizard in a cup”.  His works are made with soft and neutral colors, simple shapes and coloring techniques that bring different textures to the artworks.

If you haven’t checked out his work yet, I strongly encourage you to do so, if you’re having a bad day, his cute and whimsical drawings of animals and creatures might help to lighten up your mood and even crack a smile. We are very proud to have so many of his work here in our collection. All of his artworks in our permanent collection are always available online so feel free to go check them out any time.

The children’s fest will be happening here at the Capitol Center during March break. It is going to be a great opportunity for the kids to have the chance to look at these beautiful drawings, Doug Donley’s fun and unique artworks will definitely inspire many kids to let their creative mindset flow and to be unique in their own ways.

Feel free to come visit the gallery to say hi! I'll be here till June. 

Kun Nguyen