Sometimes on Sunday afternoons, the artist Donna Wynbrandt comes to the artist's corner at the Round House Cafe in Cambridge, N.Y. and does some of her sketches. Donna is a wonderful artist, she is an outsider artist, she works outside the conventional realm of galleries and artistic expectations. She gave me permission to photograph her, and I sat near her for an hour or so as the light poured into the cafe, and I caught the artist at work. Donna is one of the most interesting people I know and one of the most driven and prolific artists. She lived on the streets of New York for many years, then she and George Forss met while he was peddling his photos on the streets of Manhattan.
Donna and George have had one of the greatest of love affairs, each has helped the other weather so many storms. Donna has learned to cope with mental illness and powerful medications, she nearly lost her mind last week when something went wrong with some of her meds, with George's help and her own determination she has worked her back almost to normal, back at the cafe sketching some of her wonderful art. I love photographing her today, I think I saw the pure artist at work, she and Maria are close friends, their share an artistic soul, a way of looking at the world, the experience of pain and fear. Maria asked Donna if the two of them might sketch together at the Round House on Sundays – this corner is a gathering place for readers, artists, singers, of whom the are many in my wonderful little town.
Scott Carrino has made the Round House a gather spot for writers, artists, farmers, merchants in town, local residents. It is telling that Donna, who is exquisitely sensitive, feel so welcome there. She did a sketch called "Olympic Judges" that I hope to buy from her. Donna sketches everywhere, just as George takes photos everywhere, the couple share a creative soul. I admire Donna, she is brave, honest, and creative.
I had the pleasure of photographing the two of them as they laughed, talked, shared the experience of making art. I'm putting an album of the photos up on Facebook. I treated this photo with software that enhanced the colors, I did so because I thought this image perfectly captured Donna, the riot of colors, the swirl of activity. It is, in fact, a Donna poster, a Donna painting, a Donna sketch.