Born/raised in Los Feliz village, Los Angeles, a neighborhood of Native American, Spanish & Mexican cultured was Danuta’s childhood backdrop. Being first generation Polish-American, she long ago connected with the similarities between Southwestern/Mexican craftwork and Polish art and handcraft. Danuta’s family home had two southwest paintings of Taos Pueblo and a 1940’s Mexican marketplace, she still owns both. Danuta’s parents encouraged creativity. Her first art class was at Barnsdall Park, in Hollywood, in a Frank Lloyd Wright building mere blocks from her home. She was 5 years old. As a teen, Danuta was honored to have a watercolor hang in the annual Barnsdall Art Show gallery.
After attending Immaculate Heart High School and Otis Art Institute in fashion design, Danuta worked in the garment industry for ten years creating clothing, textile and graphic designs, including as a fashion magazine publishing. Later, she pursued painting murals, interior paintings, portraits, home/retail interior design and theater set design. Then, in 2009, Danuta gravitated toward painting southwestern imagery at her second studio in the wine country of Temecula, California, an area steeped in the Early California esthetic.
My larger saddle series depicts historic tooled saddlery with details, of handcraft, patina, use & wear, often overlooked. The historic cowboy is routinely presented via landscape on a horse, their powerful presence seated in another’s handiwork, fusing cowboy and horse within those very landscapes our eye is made to examine. But the cowboy’s view is his saddle, unique & very significant to his cowboy life. My paintings are representational & close up have a more abstract, painterly quality.In my landscapes & southwest paintings, I hope to evoke the mood of a time gone. The Early California history, Spanish, Mexican, Native American, Southwestern, Western, and New Mexican history remains a fascinating area of interest that I am continuing to explore.