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Meet Donna Secour of Art with Heart

Today we’d like to introduce you to Donna Secour.

Donna, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a child, I spent all my free time “making” things; drawings, homemade gifts and cards, cardboard doll furniture, tiny doll clothes and any craft I could find. My imagination was fed by a big old house filled with all kinds of “stuff” hidden in closets and drawers that I loved to go through. I was lucky enough to have a mother who allowed me to make a mess and keep whatever area messy until whatever creation I was working on was completed.

My Lithuanian grandmother was a creator too, and I remember her letting me “shop” in her closets filled with every treasure imaginable: scraps of bright cloth, thread, needles, (heavy) shears, felt, lace, ribbon, buttons, bows, and skeins, skeins of yarn.

I discovered I had some talent in high school art classes and had some early successes. It was there that I began to develop a passion for drawing and painting and continued with college art classes. I studied children’s book illustrations at RISD when my first child was little but went on to become a psychiatric nurse. Years later I was happy to pick up my pencils and paintbrush again.

I now sell my art, jewelry, prints, cards, ornaments at art shows, and in my online shop on Etsy, I have done several community projects in Plymouth MA, including “The Lobster Crawl”. I belong to Plymouth Art Guild, The Marion Art Center, A juried member of the Cape Cod Assoc, and The Attleboro Art Museum, I have won awards for my art and have illustrated two children’s books, “Willow-Mia Pig” and “The Enchanted Doll, a Fairy Tale’.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
For years I put my art on the back burner waiting on a time when all the ingredients would be there for me to become an artist. My dream was on hold as I raised my two daughters and worked as a psychiatric nurse.

There was a time when I forced the idea of being an artist out of my mind because longing to be one had grown too painful. I told myself it was never going to work out for me and I better just concentrate on being a mother and earning a living. But slowly as my children grew up I began to paint and create again.

Teaching myself through much trial and error, Progress seemed slow and the well of inspiration was as dry as dust at times, but I kept to it because I couldn’t do it.

Art with Heart – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I specialize in hand painted, custom glass ornaments of homes, pets, and people. I enjoy this work and have gotten a great response on my online Etsy store for the second year in a row. They are great gifts for housewarmings, holidays, engagement and wedding gifts. I get a lot of feedback about the amount of detail I put into each ornament. I think they are unique as I include personalized wording, various styles, and colors of ribbon.

I can also add seasonal touches like wreaths, lights, and snow. I have done a number of ornaments of couples getting engaged. I have a line of earrings and pendants that are made with small images of my artwork; these also sell on my Etsy store site and at several area gift shops. I also have a line of cards called, “Finding Sanctuary” which combine my art with quotes and poems that I love- I have one card with a Mother Theresa Poem that sells out frequently.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is “Following Your Bliss” as Joseph Cambell tells it, and finding out that your life expands in ways you could not imagine. I also love the work of writer, poet, storyteller and Jungian analyst Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

She tells the story of “The Red Shoes”; which is about following your own spirit, not settling for a life others think you should live and becoming empowered to honor your own path no matter how different or difficult or extraordinary it may be.

“The hand-made life is based on having an idea of how you envision your life unfolding, and then proceeding with it slowly, but surely. Not being seduced by the dancing girls or dancing boys along the road; not being taken away by promises of a faster, quicker, easier, more wonderful shortcut, but staying with the job of crafting your life very closely and very carefully.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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