Barrington artists create for a global market
Article by Cindy VanSchalkwyk, Photo by Christine Hochkeppel
Meet Maeve Donohue and David Gonville: artists, high school sweethearts, business partners
BARRINGTON — Maeve Donohue, 37, and Dave Gonville, 38, married four years ago but have known each other since they were children. They were sweethearts in the sixth grade, and good friends who dated occasionally throughout high school. As a teen, Maeve would sometimes climb out her bedroom window to spend time with Dave. The couple both grew up in Barrington, and attended numerous art classes together at Barrington High School, then went in different directions for college. Ten years later, they met again and have been together ever since. The couple have a marketing and web design business together, Nami Studios, as well as individual web sites for their art. They lived in Warren for a couple of years, then moved back to Barrington in 2006. Their daughter, Mirabel, turns 3 at the end of the month.
Reconnecting: Maeve — “We married four year ago. We were sweethearts in sixth grade and we were good friends all through high school. We went to all the same art classes, then we didn’t see each other for about 10 years. I was living overseas and then moved back to Rhode Island. We ran into each other and we probably haven’t spent more than a couple of days apart, once in a while, since we started dating again.”
Artistic mediums: Dave — “I like to paint with oil, mostly because it doesn’t dry quickly and you can change it, move it around. Same thing with the encaustic (paint mixed with melted beeswax). You can re-heat if you don’t like the way it looks. Also, you can’t totally control encaustic so that the medium has a way of surprising you.” Maeve — “It’s like controlling the uncontrollable. Mine is the opposite. It’s really controlled. They start off as an illustration. I draw them by hand and then I rework them in the computer. The prints are based on Japanese Kokeshi dolls. They’re little folk art dolls people in the country would give to each other as an expression of love and good luck.”
More art themes: Maeve — “The themes I do are friendship, love, and luck. So I do owls and carp. Owls are good luck ... The Japanese koi, carp, are good luck, and the stronger significance is persistence.” Dave — “This whole series is surfing; my idea is to move inland and do a series of landscapes next.”
On the water: Maeve — “Dave’s a surfer. He’s been surfing since we met. That’s what his art, his paintings are. He surfs all winter.” Dave — “In the winter the waves are really good around here.”
Global business: Maeve — “We ship paintings and prints out all over the world. The online artwork has completely changed the way you do art business. The whole planet is your market now.”
FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE SEE THE APRIL 22 PRINT EDITION OF THE BARRINGTON TIMES.