Donna Arbelle began painting in 1998 after thinking about early retirement from working as a realtor. What she always wanted to do was paint but didn’t know how. So she entered into classes at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts. There she learned to draw under the direction of Katlin Gergo and learned to paint in oil and pastel with Darrel Brown. Other classes included color and design with Auseklis Ozols and figure and portrait drawing and painting with Carol Peebles and Dell Weller respectively.
After following the tradition of classical painting she turned to impressionistic results after a workshop with Sammy Britt of Mississippi who was a student of Henry Hensche. Since then she has found a way to combine the two techniques into the unique approach she uses today. Light and color are of prominent importance in her work and she paints from life whenever possible, even in plein aire for landscape painting. Favorite subjects are still life and painting the Louisiana swamps and parks.
Donna belongs to several local art guilds and is also a member of Degas Pastel Society. She has won many awards for her work and her paintings and drawings can be found in many private collections.