The works of Donna McGee, currently featured at the River Gallery during the month of February, are inspired by the essence of nature—energy, motion, and change. According to Kahlil Gibran, “Art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes.” McGee says, “For me art is a synthesis of what I see, what I know, and what I feel revealed or made evident in the work.” The foundation of McGee’s work is rooted in her love of the natural world and her view that man is an integral part of nature. Like many philosophers, poets, writers, and artists, McGee searches for meaning in life and understanding of herself by observing and experiencing the forces of the natural world. The Gallery will participate in the Thursday, February 6 Downtown Gallery Crawl and Donna will be giving an artist’s talk at 6:45pm. Please come and meet her in person. McGee says, “The work is a response to nature rather than a description. My love of exploring just to see what lies ahead and the feel of the earth beneath my feet are experiences I want to share.” She considers plein air painting or field studies as information gathering for paintings that are drawn from memories, visions, and concepts. She says, “Working in the field helps me absorb the mystery of the natural world and gives me an opportunity to daydream. I take much more from an outdoor painting session than an image of the scene.” In addition to sketches and photos, her sketchbook is filled with her thoughts, dream/vision thumbnails, creative writing, and quotes from favorite writers. Whether working in her studio or in the field, she attempts to create an atmosphere that places the viewer as an observer or participant in the scene. McGee earned a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Mississippi State University, a Masters in Counseling from Mississippi State University and Master of Fine Arts in Studio: Painting and Drawing from Louisiana Tech University. McGee’s works have been included in numerous regional and national juried exhibitions including the Taos Watercolor Society’s Annual Exhibition of American Watercolor, Taos, NM; the Mississippi Watercolor Society’s Grand National Exhibition, Jackson, MS; the Society of Watercolor Artists Annual Juried National & International Exhibitions, in Ft. Worth, TX; the Masur Museum’s International Juried Exhibition in Monroe, LA; Louisiana Watercolor Society’s Annual International Juried Exhibition, New Orleans, LA and the Hilton Head Biennial Juried Exhibition, SC. She is a signature member of the Louisiana Watercolor Society and the Mississippi Watercolor Society. McGee has taught art at the university level for 22 years and served as Chair of the Department of Art at Grambling State University from 2003-2011. She is a member of various regional and national art organizations. For more information visit her web page at www.donnafmcgee.com or her blog at www.dancing-rainbow.com. The River Gallery, 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe, invites you to come see this special show of Donna’s work during the entire month of February. When you shop at your local gallery, you not only help our economy by keeping your money in the area, you also save on taxes and shipping. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and boasts over 28 artists whose work is also on display at the gallery. Admission is free. Paintings and photographs by gallery members can also be seen at ORAG’s extension gallery located in the lobby of Ouachita Independent Bank/Bankers Mortgage Plaza at 18th and Louisville in Monroe. Call 322-2380 for more information.