Doina was born in 1971, in a provincial town in Romania. Manifesting interest in drawing since she was little, she spent her childhood drawing on absolutely everything that came in contact with her hand, from paper sheets to furniture, books, asphalt, even doll faces. In those times Romania was still under communist rule, and any artistic inclinations of the youth were not encouraged because they were not classified as profitable. Therefore, her parents did not encourage her desire to attend a college of art, directing her instead towards a technical college, which she vehemently refused to attend. So, after high school, Doina chose to follow her passion and committed as a painter decorator using a technique almost forgotten today and extremely complicated (Daum Nancy and Galle), some sort of reverse painting on multiple layers of glass. She worked in this field for almost 10 years, while also drawing cartoons and caricatures for a Hungarian company and comic strips for a local newspaper. At the age of 33 she emigrated to the United States where she settled with her family, only a few miles away from Chicago.
"I think the human face is the most interesting and complex topic that can be approached. It reflects so many emotions, and the impact that life experiences has had on the individual. I feel particularly attracted to faces of those who are aging, where every wrinkle tells a story. I think it is magical to be able to play on a canvas, and to be able to express beauty as a living, feeling, movement or inner peace of mind. An image of an older man is like a classic painting, full of meaning, while the faces of children and youth are like sails just bought, still untouched.”
Over the years Doina remained faithful to acrylics, alternating between using painting knives and brushes. From time to time she flirts and uses oil colors, but she loves the most versatility of acrylics. With the establishment of the United States she began to take the pleasure of painting more seriously, and has acquired more time to study the classics and modernists, has tried several techniques, juggled various topics. "There was a time when I felt only that I have to express on canvas, otherwise a fire consumes me inside. I did not know what or how to express. I worked on the faces of people, forests, landscapes, all kinds of subjects. I looked back and I realized that portraiture is what satisfies me. Every portrait that comes out of my hand is like a birth, I feel exhausted but ecstatic when I finish it and see the result. The style is, I would say, closest to realism with an obvious personal touch. The lines are a little tougher, creating sharper expressions. My portraits are not portraying rosy, beautiful faces, but instead portray hardness and depth, a face full of powerful feelings. I enjoy painting women with head coverings. I cannot explain where this attraction stems from, but I would guess it is probably from the fact that I spent my childhood in a country where all women have their heads covered by scarves, especially when they enter the Orthodox churches. I feel as though I'm starting to outline and also to free myself. I am, however, never fully satisfied, always feeling like I could do more, to express better. After all, Gerhard Richter himself (whom I admire) says "Stay critical! You're deceiving yourself, pumping yourself up to like it "talking about painters who come to like their own creations." Since 2004 Doina participated in several group exhibitions and even had a few solo exhibits.
I try to fill the empty spaces around me with joy and beauty, fully believing that this beauty comes from the inside (of people and/or things). There is glow and mystery, lights and shadows in every human being and through my portraits I attempt to capture that. Usually I start my paintings with a colorful madness and mess, an unclear mix of mediums and colors. I cannot decide easily on the predominant tone and I frequently get the feeling that I am not going to be able to finish that painting. However, I also feel the urge to do it, like a weight that has to be lifted from my chest. I have to transmit to you, the one looking at my painting, how much color is in a thought, a feeling, an emotion.
My favorite tool is the palette knife because it gives me the freedom of unrestricted expression and not imposed contours. I’m generous with the amount of colors and mediums. I love the acrylics for their malleability and for the fact that they dry quick and I don’t have to wait a long time between sessions. I like to “build” the human faces from the colors which, initially, don’t seem to have anything to do with it, but from surprising combinations, begin revealing and mixing all the emotions and the feelings that person is built from. The beauty comes from inside and the human face is a complex way to prove that.
I sometimes paint landscapes and the subjects are related to water and/or trees. For me, they are also feelings. A forest has a lot in common with wondering, searching, being taken by surprise. The water is related to calm, accomplishment, reassurance. Again, there’s a mad generosity with colors, tones, shadows and mediums. Layers overlap other layers, I find this feast of colors satisfactory for my artistic thirst.