Donnalynn Chase

Her Portrait
17″x11″; vintage and antique papers, childhood doll dress on board with acrylic; 2017

Donnalynn Chase
Gualala, California, USA


I love all things paper, especially books. Collage came naturally to me through my obsession with collecting and saving postcards, greeting cards, trading cards, and more of this and that. Besides I cannot draw or paint realistically–and I have LOTS of books, paper and ephemera.

My reverence for books and all things paper has deepened as technology seems to be making paper and associated ephemera obsolete. Currently, I am primarily using papers that are over 50 years with the majority being over 100 years old. At times, I feel like a custodian or librarian of valuable papers and entrusted to either bring them back to life or keep them safe. A unique quality of my art work is that I very rarely use photocopies or digital resources since I prefer to use original paper materials. I am truly a cut and paste analog collage artist.

Typically, I work intuitively allowing the materials to show me what wants to be expressed–usually, be so surprised, it is something that wants to be expressed from within myself. Recently, I have been more conceptual and have completed almost 80 collages in a series called “WTF”. For fun, I challenged myself to create a small collage weekly (since January 2018) with images that seemingly do not relate to each other; to create something not known to me logically or intuitively. This weekly collage-making practice has reminded me to be more mindful, curious, and not make assumptions. Is anything really as it appears?


I was born, raised, worked and lived in California’s Silicon Valley for most of my life. Art-making was nurtured by my family and a dream to be an artist was rooted in my soul from an early age. It wasn’t until I escaped my full-time corporate job to establish a life coaching practice with focus on the creative process in 2001 that I began to realize that dream. After I built an art studio in 2006, along with offering many creative expression workshops, an on-going open studio emerged for clients and I started to call myself “an artist”.

Although my teachings and coaching was focused on understanding and managing your own personal creative process, I had in earnest started honing my skills in creating mixed media collages. Self-taught with the influence of numerous workshops and continuing education classes, I felt blessed to be able to finally spend more time in my studio than any other place. I began to sell my art and participate in local open studio tours and exhibits.

In 2015, my husband, also an artist, and I moved to a remote area on the northern California coast. I now show my art work in a local gallery and exhibits, and participate in the North Coast Artist Guild and at Gualala Arts Center. In 2017, I co-founded a bi-monthly collage group open to anyone in the community. My husband and I had our first “solo” show together in 2019.


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The Mice Moved Into St. Etienne
5″x5″; antique papers; 2018

WTF No. 50
6″x6″; antique and vintage papers on vintage game board; 2018

WTF No. 48
6″x6″; antique papers on game board; 2018

WTF No. 65
6″x6″; antique papers on vintage game board; 2018