Love was one of the themes of “Disenchanted,” a graduate student art exhibit by Donna Hicks that opened April 21 in CSUN’s West Gallery. The exhibit included 12 works by Hicks.
Littia Peete, Hicks mother used to draw with her daughter when Donna was young.
“She always had a desire to create,” Peete said.
The show pieces included “Incomplete Thoughts,” “Another First Date: She’s Read/Another First Date: He’s Here,” “Butterflies,” “Valentines Day Deluxe Special,” “Life in Paradise,” “His and Hers Wedding Jitters (diptych),” “And how exactly does one live ‘Happily’ ever after?”
The painting that some views are drawn to first is “And how exactly does one live ‘Happily’ ever after?” This painting, which was used for the flyer for the opening reception is hanging on a wall by itself. The painting has much more to it than what was on the flyer. This piece features a couple lying in bed asleep.
“Incomplete Thoughts” is a set of four small paintings. These consist of two paintings of a women’s headshot type of painting, and two paintings of a male figure. The figured in this paintings have different facial expressions or thoughts.
My favorite paintings, “Another First Date: She’s Read/Another First Date: He’s Here,” are just cute paintings of the beginning of a relationship. The painting shows a woman and a man preparing to go on a first date. Both of them are wearing navy blue clothing. The rich navy color works magic with the brown colors used in the paintings. Everyone knows how hot the first date is. Hicks shows the viewer this feeling with her painting.
Hicks’ favorite painting is “Life in Paradise.” Hicks said “I think that one shows that even though you have this beautiful background that things may be perfect or look perfect, but those moments when you are arguing or something, you really feel alive.”
Besides the arguing Hicks said “there’s still love.” “Life in Paradise” takes place in Hicks back yard.
“Butterflies” features a couple talking. It looks like a scene from a movie with the woman standing against the tree and the male leaning toward the tree as they engage in conversation. “Valentines Day Deluxe Special” features a woman wearing a red gown, holding a little black box with a ring in it. The red and brown colors used in this painting highlight the woman’s face. The eyes of the woman in this painting are dramatic.
“His and Her Wedding Jitters (diptych)” shows a couple getting married. In this painting, like many of the others, Hicks painted herself and her husband. Hicks said, “What inspires me in this series is my husband, the experience for the first time being romanced.” “Disenchanted” is about “the illusion of romance and what’s behind all the flowers and the chocolate and all that stuff,” Hicks said.
Hicks is interested in the theme of life and death for her next series. She admitted that she loved painting and drawing the figure. However, she said it is “the last time I want to paint myself or my husband.” Hicks worked on “Disenchanted” for two years.
Coming up with a new series is scary, Hicks said. It’s scary “because I don’t know exactly what to do,” she said.
Hicks’ advice to amateur painters is to do what you love. “I spent so much time doing stuff I wasn’t happy with. Yeah, we write papers in art to. But my final is painting. I laugh sometimes because I’m having so much fun,” Hicks said.
“Disenchanted” by Donna Hicks closes April 26, but can be viewed today and Thursday from noon to 4 p.m.