Danuta Tomzynski

Temecula and Los Angeles, CA Website | Instagram | View All Works

Born in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz with a rich Native American, Spanish & Mexican heritage. That western history is in architecture and decor and food of Southern California which surrounded my childhood. Art was a natural part of my life, with both my parents and schooling supporting all types of arts. My parents were so supportive of all arts. I realize that we had a painting of the Taos Pueblo in our home since before I was in school. My father loved paintings. Among others, I also remember a large painting of a marketplace in Mexico in the 1940’s. I still own both of these Southwest paintings. I’ve always loved handmade items especially Southwestern, Mexican tourist items where the hand work and craft is apparent. I’m first generation Polish American and Poland has this tradition of hand crafting as well like tooled leather craft, which I love. Both of my parents were creative and encouraged creativity. My first art class was at Barnsdall Park, in Hollywood, in a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was a few blocks from home. I was about 5 years old in that art class. Years later, I had a watercolor art piece of mine in the annual Barnsdall Art Show. I was surprised to see my piece chosen to hang inside the gallery. There were many other artworks hung outside on pegboard easels. I was honored and thrilled.

I attended Otis Art Institute (then with Parsons School of Design) and focused on fashion design. I entered the garment industry, worked in it for ten years as a clothing designer. That period included textile, graphic design and fashion magazine publishing which incorporated styling and creating editorial content.
I left the garment industry to pursue painting. That led me to murals, interior paintings, portraits, home and retail interior design and set design for theater productions around the Southern California area. Design was my focus until about 2009. I started painting my southwestern imagery.
I enjoy time in my second studio in the wine country of Temecula, California, a landscape equally steeped in the Early California esthetic. The Southern California, Early California history, Spanish, Mexican, Native American, Southwestern, Western, and New Mexican history is still a fascinating area of interest that I am continuing to explore.


In my still lifes & my “Personal Space” series, I focus on painting vintage, antique southwestern items with rich details of various crafters including tourist souvenirs & western saddles. The older western saddles are my primary focus at this time. I feel the cowboy & these carved leather “tools” are one. The historic cowboy is shown in landscapes on a horse but he is living in that saddle. His view & physical experience is up close in the saddle & it gets molded to that cowboy moving through all those picturesque landscapes. The cowboy’s view is his saddle, unique & significant to cowboy life. My larger format “personal space” series depicts vintage & antique tooled saddles & items showing the details of handcraft, patina, age, use & wear so often overlooked because of being utilitarian, tourist souvenirs or plain worn out. My paintings are representational from afar & as you look closer there is an abstract, painterly quality to them.
In my landscapes & southwest paintings, I hope to evoke the mood of a time gone by and capture historic handmade details. Southwestern history is still so fascinating to me as I continue to explore it.

Works by Danuta Tomzynski

View All Works by Danuta Tomzynski