Donna Lacey-Derstine is a “Painter in the American Primitive Style” who grew up in rural Buck’s County, Pennsylvania where the countryside reflects an early American vista with stone farmhouses and barns, rolling pastures and working farms. Her mother instilled a creative sensibility in viewing the world and that influence, along with the artist’s love of animals and nature, became woven into her art, prints and posters at an early age.
After majoring in painting and illustration at Philadelphia College of Art, Derstine moved first to the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming, then to a small island off the coast of Maine and, finally, to the 1825 colonial farmhouse in the foothills of the White Mountains in western Maine. Here she lives with her husband, son, two large dogs and an orange tabby. The many landscapes of her life experience are threaded through her art, prints and posters.
Derstine’s art, prints and posters integrate a range of themes and styles, including the idealized and often whimsical work of the early American folk artists and English Naive school. Her subjects are customary to Folk Art of the past: farm animals, trade and tavern signs, nursery rhymes, country landscapes, yet include a sense of color and design which is distinctly Derstine’s. “From the traditional hand-planed pine boards to the layers of soft golden patina, I mold and unify each piece to evoke the glow of an aged oil or the weathered charm of a rustic tavern sign.” Her work is included in private collections throughout the U.S. and as far away as Australia. In addition, Derstine’s work has been featured in Early American Life (Best Traditional Crafts 1989) and Country Home (1992) magazines.