Donna Howell-Sickles was born in 1949 in Gainesville, Texas, where she was raised on a 900-acre farm. When she was entering junior high school her parents moved the family to New Mexico where she graduated from Lovington High School. In 1972, she earned her BFA from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. During her junior year there, she acquired an old postcard, circa 1935, depicting acowgirl seated atop a horse. The vintage postcard read, “Greetings from a Real Cowgirl from the Ole Southwest”. Attracted by the charm and confidence of the woman in the image, Howell-Sickles began incorporating the Cowgirl figure into her artwork, as well as collecting and researching theses old-time Cowgirl images. Before long, this cowgirl icon, and all that she could stand for, became the central theme in her contemporary- Western settings of mixed-media artwork.
Donna works on paper and canvas, in a mix of charcoal, pastel, and acrylic, most often leaving her under-drawing visible. In the artwork, the Cowgirl achieves the status of a heroine, and these images have brought her national attention, recognition, accolades, and success. Her work is rich with symbolism and allusions to classical mythology, but the viewer does not need to be familiar with the references to appreciate the female affirmations and the joy of life apparent in each piece. With an ageless grace and timeless stories, these Cowgirl heroines will live on forever in vibrant colors through Donna's artwork.
Donna was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2007 honoring her boy of work about the Cowgirl. Donna's work is in the collections of several museums, and in 2011 she was voted one of the 40 Prominent People in the Western Art World by Southwest Art Magazine. She was President of American women artists from 200 to 2003 and an honored guest artist at both the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and at the C.M. Russell museum in Great Falls, Montana. Her work has been in many exhibitions and featured in several publications. Currently, Donna’s work is represented by Mountain Trails Gallery, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Big Horn Galleries in Cody, Wyoming and Tubac, Arizona; Davis & Blevins Gallery in Saint Jo, Texas, Ann Korologos Gallery, Aspen , CO and McLarry Fine Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Click on the images below to view Donna Howell-Sickles's artwork available for sale at this year's show.
"The Cowgirl has become my icon for woman.....I'm using her to give us all someone of warmth and humor with whom to laugh."