Original Paintings by Donna Catotti



Donna Catotti (b. 1950) is a versatile artist currently working in oil, pastel, serigraphy, and sculpture.  Surrounded by mountains and oceans, wildlife and gardens in beautiful Haines, Alaska, Catotti and Goldberg Art Studio is shared with artist/husband, Rob.  You are invited to review here Donna’s latest paintings for upcoming shows, as well as older original paintings that are still available for sale.  Paintings can be shipped on approval with deposit.  For serigraphs or giclees by Donna or Rob click the appropriate heading above and you will connect with www.artstudioalaska.com.   Also, you can visit  www.RobGoldbergHandmadeGuitars.com.    

What's New? 





*ENTERING JURIED COMPETITIONS WITH MUCH SUCCESS, I have had works in three shows at the National Arts Club in NYC in the past year, and received a small award this year at the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club's 120th show.  In December 2015 I received a First Merit Award, Still Life Category in the Portrait Society of America's Members-Only Competition.  PLEASE SEE THE FULL LISTING OF SHOWS ON THE RESUME PAGE.  


* THE JUNEAU ARTS AND HUMANITIES GALLERY SHOW OPENED SEPT. 2-30, 2016, WITH 35 PIECES HANGING AND A BUSY FIRST FRIDAY RECEPTION.  (See poster and artist's statement below.)  The entire show (and more) is online on this site, under categories by subject.  Photos of the reception are on the "In the Studio" section of this site.


     As a young child, I admired William Adolphe Bouguereau’s classical painting, “Nymphs and Satyr”, at the Sterling Clark Museum in my father’s hometown.  This large intoxicating painting mesmerized and inspired me, and I, a paint-by-number kid, wished I could paint like that.  I have never lost my fascination with this particular artist, his classical skills, or with the portrait/figure genre. 

      I think the need to create is something inherent in an artist’s personality.  We are not born with talent, but must develop it.  In my college years, it was not possible to learn traditional classical skills within the university system.   I was told if I wanted to learn to draw, I should study in architecture school, which I did, graduating with a Bachelor of Design in 1973.   Soon after college I realized that learning classical skills was a lifetime proposition and that I must make my living painting, if I wanted enough time to develop my skills accordingly. 

     Some ask why keep with tradition, saying that representational, classical art is old-fashioned, not innovative or creative.  The artistic skills heralded in the Renaissance, were pooh-poohed in the twentieth century, and almost lost to humankind.  The art critics convinced the public that abstract and avant-garde were the only worthwhile forms of expression for the new era.  Yet Picasso was classically trained before he went on to create the works he is better known for.  How can an artist choose innovation if he doesn’t have the basic skills necessary to explore ALL the choices?  Fortunately, in the twenty-first century we are seeing an explosion of atelier-type art schools.  Luckily for me, it is never too late to learn more, through workshops, museums, and conferences, activities I am currently engaging in. 

     Standing at my easel, I work to satisfy only myself, not an easy task.  In each of my figurative works, I hope to portray some depth of human character and emotion that transcends the individual portrayed.  In my landscapes I hope to capture and share the beauty of nature, in hopes that we can preserve these landscapes for future generations.  When others viewing my work find meaning, pleasure, or inspiration to take away with them, then I have succeeded in my efforts.         




     Catotti and Goldberg Art Studio will be hosting Natalie Italiano as lead instructor for a Studio Incamminati oil painting portrait workshop in Haines, Alaska, July 10-14, 2017.  Studio Incamminati, founded by Nelson and Leona Shanks, is a non-profit four-year school for contemporary realism in Philadelphia.  Check it out and register online at www.studioincamminati.org or call (215) 592-7910.  Cost is $599.  Our instructor will also do a Tuesday evening portrait demonstration, open to the public, at the Sheldon Museum from 6-9pm.

     The class will be held at the Haines ANB/ANS Hall in the center of town within walking distance to hotels, restaurants, shops, museums, raptor center, the beach, the pool, the boat harbor, local brewery and distillery.  The local Tlingit culture had a multi-faceted arts tradition long before the white man arrived.  Our costumed models will be posing under “hot” lights.  Easels will be provided if needed, though you might want to bring your own French easel to plein air paint on the weekends or evenings.  It stays light until 11 pm in June.  Studio Incamminati will provide a list of painting supplies.  Bring all listed supplies with you, or mail ahead c/o Catotti and Goldberg Art Studio, Box 1154, Haines, Alaska 99827.  Odorless mineral spirits will be available for those flying in.  (Mark your oil supplies “vegetable oil only/no solvents” for TSA inspection at airports.)  Arrangements can be made with your hosts to ship wet paintings after they dry.  Please travel with the box you’d like them shipped in, if possible.

     One of the prettiest places on the planet, Haines is located in a temperate rainforest on the ocean at the upper end of the Inside Passage.  Come before, stay after.  There is so much  scenery to paint, things to see, do, and explore here.  A vacation planner, with a complete list of accommodations and services, is available by calling the Haines Visitor Center at 1(800) 458-3579, or online at www.explorehaines.com .  Your local hosts, Donna Catotti and Rob Goldberg, are happy to answer questions and help you plan your trip.  Call us at (907) 766-2707 or e-mail: catotti.alaska@yahoo.com.  If you are uncertain about Southeast Alaska weather, please keep reading below for a list of personal items you might wish to bring.  Weather permitting or not, we will plan to host a barbeque and campfire at our studio/home and gardens on the Sunday evening before the workshop.  If you wish to travel the short distance to the tundra on Chilkat Pass in Canada you will need to bring your passport.

     Access to Haines is possible by road through Canada (Whitehorse is the nearest Canadian airport), by an Alaska Marine Highway System ferry (a 4 ½ hour trip from Juneau which usually requires an overnight due to early morning departures), or a 30 minute small plane ride (Wings of Alaska or Alaska Seaplanes) from Juneau International Airport.  Alaska Air and Delta fly to Juneau.  Rental cars are available in Haines, though you probably won’t need one.  If two people are planning to fly on the same itinerary, call us for a tip on saving money with a companion fare on Alaska Air.  Housing with a local artist may be possible for those on a tight budget.

Hope to see you in July!                                                                                                                                                                                                     Donna Catotti


     Haines is located on the ocean in a temperate rainforest.  Summer weather in Southeast Alaska can be quite variable, with Haines being much drier at 50-60” per year, than most other communities in the region.  Some summers it doesn’t rain for three months.  If you come to Alaska for one week, you might get 50 degrees and rainy all week or you might get 75-80 and sunny all week.  If you stay two weeks, you will probably get some of both.  June usually has the best weather and it stays light until 11pm, so there is lots of time to do things after the workshop each day.  The birds start chirping again around 2 or 3.  It is best to pack with layers to accommodate all conditions.  Some things you might consider are: 

     Are you planning to plein air paint in the evening?  (There are some locally made all-natural bug products available that work quite well.)

     Will you have a car or will you walk around town?  Everything you need is close enough to walk.  I usually travel with an umbrella, and often take my exercise at home with one, however most locals don’t use them as it is often too windy and everyone has good rain gear.

     Do you plan to hike, swim (we have a public pool), play golf, rent a bicycle, take a float trip, go kayaking or fishing?  If you are an avid outdoors person, you probably know what to wear for your favorite activities in inclement weather.  If you are adventurous enough to try new outdoor activities, please feel free to call or email for advice.

     Many a young bride has worn her Extra-tuff boots under her wedding dress.  In other words, you needn’t ever dress fancy.  Anything goes, just about anywhere.  If you like to dress up for dinner, you are welcome to (there are plenty of good restaurants in summer). 


  • Good walking shoes, or ones you like to stand in all day while painting
  • Hiking boots or rubber boots (only if you are planning to do activities that require these).  If you take a raft trip through the Eagle Preserve, the outfitter will provide raingear and boots
  • Visor and sunglasses
  • Warm ski cap, for inclement weather, light gloves optional for outdoor painting
  • Raincoat that can double as a warm coat over a sweater or vest
  • Fleece vest (optional)
  • Rain pants, optional if you are intending to do some serious outdoor activities
  • 2 T-shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts, 2 pullovers or sweaters (laundromats are available)
  • 2 pants and one shorts, in case we are lucky with the weather
  • Undergarments and warm socks
  • Swimwear if you like to exercise at the pool
  • Whatever you are comfortable wearing while you paint
  • Toiletries, medicines, etc.
  • Camera
  • Binoculars if you enjoy them
  • French easel for plein air work, if you intend to do that, or for the workshop if you are fussy about your easel
  • Painting supplies as listed by Studio Incamminati for JaFang Lu's portrait workshop
  • Passport or passport card if you want to go up on the tundra in Canada (40 miles away)

      Most everything is available in Haines should you forget something.  Art supplies are currently not available in town.

     Please call Donna Catotti (907) 766-2707 or email catotti.alaska@yahoo.com with any further questions.  See you in the summer!