WV Artist on Display: Inspired by Nature at its Brightest

This month’s WV Artist on Display is Donna Tolbert. She makes painted furniture, small hand-painted boxes and traditional paintings on canvas. Her passion is repairing and upcycling tired, old furniture and making it functional and beautiful. She says “each piece must have ‘good bones,’ and often the shape inspires whether it will become a koi pond or a cherry pie.” Donna is from Beckley and earned a BA in art and MA in counseling from WVU. She has been a Lewisburg resident for 20+ years and recently retired from WVSOM. If you have a tired piece of furniture, we suggest you reach out to Donna. She takes commission jobs, transforming old but unique furniture (you may have inherited or found at the flea market) into a piece of fine and functional art. She tells us, “After cleaning and sanding, the furniture may have up to six coats of water-based, non-toxic paint, ensuring a lasting and durable finish that will stand up to regular use.” Donna also enjoys creating small treasure boxes. She says each one-of-a-kind box is painted inside and out with the same care and attention to detail as her furniture. Learn more about Donna with our Q&A:

How do you describe your palette?

As one friend often comments, I am not afraid of color! My palette is inspired by nature at its brightest. I typically like rich, saturated color, but the subject dictates the palette.

What obstacles do you need to overcome to find your creative space/muse?

The biggest obstacle I have to painting is frustration. Sometimes it takes real physical effort as well as mental to continue working on a piece that has reached that point of “this is not working”. This happens frequently to me. But when I persist, I usually find the solution. And sometimes I just trash it and start over.

How do you find your inspiration?

The shape of the furniture and boxes often inspires the design, as in the hexagonal bee box and the heart-shaped side table. The primary source is nature.

What advice do you have for other artists?

Just keep working. The more you do, the better you get. And look at lots of art! You can go to almost any museum on line when you can’t go in person. And learn to enjoy the process as much as, if not more, than the product.

What is your favorite piece(s) you’ve made and why?

One of my favorite pieces is the a small side table I called “ Mating”. I have a special fondness for crows and ginkgo trees. The shape of this little table inspired me to use a lot of detail and a nod to the Arts and Crafts movement.

What is the best way for our readers to contact you?

My furniture, boxes and small paintings can be purchased at the West Virginia Fine Artisans Gallery located on E. Washington Street, beside Greenbrier Valley Theatre. I can be contacted at tolbert.donnajean@gmail.com or call 304-647-4485.

Submit a Comment

[ssba]

Back to the Music w/ Lewisburg City Paper this September!

Back into the Music w/ HashtagWV this September! - It’s back to the music w/ Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper this September. Susanna Robinson features Warner Music School: from humble beginnings to true love and more.  Other big stories include Wild Cuisine at the West Virginia Roadkill Cookoff, Freshwater Folk Festival, an interview with Carlene Carter, Highway Queen by Jason Scott, and so much more! […]

Stay Updated w/ HashtagWV!

Want to stay updated with the paper or thinking about advertising? Sign up today for the latest HASHTAGWV monthly newsletter!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Best Things to Do in Lewisburg, WV

Best Things to Do in Lewisburg WV! - Spending a day in Lewisburg? Here are a few of the best things to do while you’re visiting. Start your day at the Wild Bean coffee shop.  Located downtown, this cafe offers premium coffee, tea, veggie cuisine, wi-fi, entertainment, and more! The breakfast menu consisting of breakfast burritos, egg scrambles, breakfast sandwiches and granola w/ […]

"Over the last 10 years, we have tried several avenues for advertising. Beyond a doubt, our greatest return has been through HASHTAGWV. Whether it be in the HASHTAGWV print edition, or online, our customers, both locals and tourists, really do look for this media form to be in tune with what’s going on in the area and for destination shopping. Advertising with LBSPY (now HASHTAG) has unequivocally been a great asset for our business!" - Craig Miller w/ Serenity Now Outfitters. Ad rates start at just $20! Click here for MEDIA KIT  

LBMEDIAKIT
LBSPY-Testimonials1
Patrick4CMPLTshrp "LBSPY is the best thing that has happened in Greenbrier County since I have been here for seven years. Maybe the whole state.... a first class operation and a lot of hard work," Patrick O'Flaherty (pictured above), The Irish Pub, Lewisburg, WV

Donating = Loving

HashtagWV remains D.I.Y. in nature and it takes hundreds of hours a month to research and write, and thousands of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy and value in it, please consider making a one time or recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee at The Wild Bean and a good dinner at Food & Friends
Adam DeGraff "LB Spy always has their finger on the pulse of this community!" - Adam Degraff (pictured above), (The Weight/ The Dueling Fiddlers / Pianafiddle)

Instagram

  • #repost Thank you Larry Davis and Hashtag WV for featuring Sheen: Project AR for Education in the recent article!
I'll be doing a second demo of the Augmented Reality app at the FreshWater Folk Festival in White Sulphur Springs! See you there!
•
#SheenAR
#ProjectAR #whitesulphursprings #gotowv #simplygbv #igers_of_wv #wv_igers #freshwaterfolkfest
  • Reading Janine’s article in front of Janine. #mydogandi
...
#lewisburg #lewisburgwv #gotowv #igers_of_wv #wv_igers #simplygbv #greenbriercounty #janinelazarus #dogcolumn #goodladd #dogtraining101 #dogtrainingtips
  • Carlene Carter, Highway Queen! Check out the interview by @thejasonscott w/ @bsidesbadlands Carlene performs @carnegiehallwv this September!
...
#lewisburg #lewisburgwv #gotowv #igers_of_wv #wv_igers #carlenecarter #johnnycash #junecarter #carterfamily #jasonscott #bsidesbadlands #countrymusicsinger #carnegiehall

Follow Us!

LBSPY ARTICLES

Wonder How HashtagWV Remains Free?

WONDER HOW HASHTAG LEWISBURG CITY PAPER REMAINS FREE? - Wondering how Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper gets published and distributed FREE every month in-print and online? Do we have wealthy parents or did one of us seduce a millionaire? No. Are we financed by bank loans or grant money? Nope, not that either. Until we hit it BIG in the lotto, every issue of HASHTAGWV comes […]

BEHIND HASHTAG

HASHTAG WV
P.O. Box 744
Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901
info@hashtagwv.com

TESTIMONIAL

"Here at WHEN PIGS FLY BBQ, we get the most return advertising with LBSPY. New customers tell us all the time how they see our ad. They then come see us!" - Mike and Kellen, owners of When Pigs Fly BBQ, Lewisburg, WV.
"Christina, Thank you so much for the cover and the ARTICLE. Your LBSPY is fantastic! We hope to grow this ride and other sports events in our area. Your magazine will do this. Again thank you from everyone in the GVBike club. Come ride with us sometime." - Janice Centa

WE ARE YOUR SOURCE!

LBSPY is a free, full color arts and entertainment tabloid dedicated to providing useful information in the areas of Greenbrier County, Pocahontas County, parts of Alleghany County, and more. We distribute 7,000, full color issues every month.

WE ARE ENGAGED!

We are engaged in promoting local music, arts, events, dining, and shopping. We reach our audience where they live, eat, shop, drink, play, and fill up their gas tank. BEHIND THE SPY

TESTIMONIAL

"LBSPY is the best thing that has happened in Greenbrier County since I have been here for seven years. Maybe the whole state.... a first class operation and a lot of hard work," Patrick O'Flaherty, owner @ The Irish Pub