About Donovan Woods

Donovan Woods is an artist from North Carolina.

Self Portrait Fall 2012

Donovan is a self taught artist that began drawing around the age of six. Growing up he kept counteless sketchbooks ranging from cartoon characters to portraits of famous faces. After many years of urging by others and by the little voice inside his head that was dying for a creative outlet, he began creating art again with excitement.

Donovan's artistic influences range from Ernie Barnes, John Biggers, Charles White and Aaron Douglas to Vincent Van Gogh, John Singer Sargent and Norman Rockwell. They all inspired Donovan and provided him with the excitement to continue to grow as an artist.

Ongoing Art Education

A native of Raleigh, N.C., Woods is a transferring junior that has an A.A.S. degree from Mount Olive University and an A.A.S. in Fine Arts from Johnston Community College. He is dedicated to producing art and relishes the education, process, and practice of drawing and painting. Of his work Donovan says, “Drawing is the most natural thing I have ever done.”

His mentor Maureen O’Neill explains, that “The drawings by Donovan have both intensity and sensitivity. In his charcoal self-portrait he meets our gaze and we are immediately aware that the artist himself is in this work. The large-scale charcoal drawings have areas of light and dark in which the figure is both revealed and obscured from the viewer. A skilled hand with charcoal and sensitivity to the observed emotional situation of the subject gives Donovan’s work its beauty and power.”

Donovan plans to strengthen and develop his portfolio while attending Barton College and has future plans of attending graduate school.

  • Donovan specializes in the medium of charcoal.
  • Donovan's style of drawing and painting is very gestural or "loose," with expressive strokes that celebrate the joy one can find within creating art.
  • Donovan enjoys a life of continual education and also enjoys showing others, young and old the joy of creating through drawing and painting.

Artistic Statement & Creative Resume

Artist Statement

I describe my artistic style as expressive-impressionistic. The major design elements I use in my work are line, form, and value. Design principles such as contrast, rhythm, and variety can be seen in my loose and gestural technique that I employ. All are evident in my artwork. I am dedicated to producing art and relish the spontaneous expression, love/hate-development, and necessary practice of drawing and painting. I use charcoal as my preferred medium. Drawing is the most natural thing I have ever done. Attributes such as mark making and implied line allow me to produce something to capture the attention of the viewers and this is a desire I will never abandon. The dramatic shifts in lights and darks in my work are an overwhelming sense of achievement that I want to experience over and over again. The work I have created throughout the self-portrait series is especially pivotal in my artistic development. In each of drawings and ppaitings, I have learned from the failures as well as the successes.

  • Knowledgeable Gallery Assistant with over a year of museum experience
  • Interests include African-American art, urban art, and mixed-media art.
  • Well-versed in dealing with clients, following museum protocols, and carefully handling valuable works.
  • Microsoft Office proficiency in addition to general office duties and responsibilities such as answering phones, shipping/receiving, accounts payable/receivable, courier services for legal documents and art related items.
  • Experience in Adobe Photoshop to provide museum with design and marketing material design resources.
  • Ability to assist with exhibitions by managing museum inventory, catalog objects, assign and complete gallery tags.
  • Experience managing digital/ hard-copy inventories of legal documents; corresponding with galleries to obtain artist biographical data for exhibit tags; creating and corresponding with museum or gallery clients, contacts, vendors and artists.
  • Ability to assist directors with scheduled meetings, assisting board members with gallery/museum programs, organizing and arranging gallery/museum educational tours of Artists exhibited.
  • Experience with art making techniques, invaluable knowledge for art handling having experience with - paintings, drawings, multi-media, photography, and three-dimensional art.
  • Skilled in performing any physical tasks such as lifting objects, measuring spaces, and installation of all forms of art.

(2014-Present) - Barton College, Wilson, N.C.
currently pursuing B.F.A. in Art & Design, minor in Gallery Management)
(2011-2014) - A.A.S degree in Fine Arts, Johnston Community College, Smithfield, NC
(2009-2011) - A.A.S degree Mount Olive College; Mount Olive, NC

  • 2014 / Showing / Barton College Fall Student Juried Show
  • 2014 / Showing / Johnston Community College Spring Student Exhibition
  • 2013 / Showing / Johnston Community College Fall Student Exhibition
  • 2013 / Showing / 50th North Carolina Community College Art Exhibition
  • 2012 / Showing / Johnston Community College Spring Student Exhibition
  • 2007 / Featured / Southeast Regional Library Emerging Artist Exhibition
  • 1st place - Barton College Fall 2014 Student Juried Show.

  • Featured Artist- The Write Stuff: The Johnston Community College 2012-2013 Literary Magazine.

  • Johnston Community College. “The Write Stuff: 2012-2013 Literary Magazine” Cover [Smithfield] 2013. Print.

  • Featured Artist- “Lifelines: Barton College 2014-2015 Literary Magazine”.

  • Barton College. “Lifelines: Barton College 2014-2015 Literary Magazine” [Wilson] 2015. Print.
  • January 2015 - March 2015, Open Studio Moderator: Life Figure Drawing
2014 - Grant - Barton College Art Supply Grant 2014 - Scholarship - High Honor Recipient 2014 - Scholarship - Barton Opportunity Recipient 2015 - Grant - Scholars’ Symposium Grant
2010 - Award - Certificate of Merit - American Red Cross 2010 - Award - Service of Excellence - Town of Garner, N.C. 2015 - Award - Barton Innovation Competition – Barton College

"This past year, Donovan has been a student of mine in both drawing and painting. He has done work that is emotionally expressive, with layers of marks and dramatic transitions of light and dark. Donovan’s series of self-portraits in charcoal reveal a skillful hand and eye and a rich physicality that places him in the expressionists tradition. Donovan Woods also has heart and grit, which gives his work that other thing, that intangible something, a surprise that reveals potential for truly great work."

Maureen T. O’Neill
Director of Exhibitions and Educational Programming
Barton Art Galleries
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Art and Design
Barton College, Wilson, NC

Requested / Commissioned Works

Let me create a VISUAL LEGACY for you today!


A comissioned work describes art produced by the artist soley upon the explicit request of someone other than the artist himself. Donovan has over 10 years worth of experience producing commissioned works of art both large and small that have become lasting and cherished memories for every one that has blessed him with the opportunity to do so. Commissioned work creates a lasting and permanent visual legacy for the requestor, allowing them to work very closely with Donovan to choose the size, medium, subject matter and possibly even the colors of the work. Donovan is skilled at producing unique and highly personalized works that become instant precious keepsakes.

STEP ONE: Contact Donovan

Use the contact form below to introduce yourself to Donovan. Provide us with a few pieces of inforamtion about what you are looking for in your commissioned work and, if possible, why you chose Donovan to create the art piece for you.

Step THREE: Pay your deposit

A deposit of 50% is due prior to Donovan beginning the work on your commissioned piece. Flexible payment options are available.

Step TWO: Look out for an email from Donovan

Donovan will contact you via email once he has had the chance to review your commission request email. At that point he will schedule a time to have a conversation with you about your request and any additional details that he needs to know before getting started.

Step 4: Your new commissioned piece in completed!

Donovan will complete you commissioned piece and deliver the work to you as per your initial agreement. Final payment for the commissioned piece is available at this time.

Let's Work Together!

Donovan's Blog

Donovan's full blog including current blog posts and archive can be found by clicking here.

04/25/15: NEW website!

Welcome to my new website and blog. A lot of time and effort has gone into updating my website over that last few weeks and I am proud to show off the new branding and layout. Please let me know what you think and check out the new blog by clicking on the link above as well!

New website!blog: