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Wolf and Girl With a Earth Crayon Paintings

About Glen Donley

Born and raised in Long Beach, California, I have been making art that stems from the very real to surreal, where both are thought-provoking. I have been making photographic images for more than 40 years, and I love to brush oil paint on canvas, too. Additionally, in a unique medium, I have developed my technique for using Crayola crayons and paper to paint a fine art image.

 Glen and Kathy Donley

In my late '20s, I became increasingly interested in composition and fine art photography. I was fortunate to be able to spend an ample amount of time with Alan Ross and King Dexter, who were the darkroom technicians for acclaimed photographer Ansel Adams. These were the guys who were printing Adam's famous work — and for me, it couldn't get better than that. Those times in San Francisco and Yosemite were a major influence on me, which lead to a 40-year love of photography. What I took away from that instruction was advice to make an image that can have meaning for many — not a snapshot for a few.

For a brief time when I was about ten years old, I explained to my art teacher that I wanted to paint with oils, but she determined that I was too young and would have to use a pencil and crayons. I used to opine to her about this crayon insult, to which she would retort, "If you were good, you could make crayon look like oil paint!"


The Crayon Art Project

Partially in response to that innocent challenge issued by my teacher some 58 years ago, in 2007, I challenged myself to go further with my artistry, taking crayon to a fine art level. I asked myself, "What if I could make crayon look like oil paint?" Twelve years later, through many tedious and disciplined hours, I have refined a technique for making fine art with Crayola crayons and paper. My work has appeared in several publications, including Mountain Valley Living, Enjoy Magazine, and internationally in Teen-2-Teen Magazine.

Whether it is a painting or a photograph, I want all of my work to hold something unspoken, for the imagination of the viewer.

Glen Donley