Virginia Donelson is born and raised in Virginia. She attended Hollins College, the University of Virginia, and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Moving to New York she found her true voice in writing and performing sketch comedy. Virginia made the final cut in being cast on Saturday Night Live in 1979 and worked on the show in small parts for the next few years. Other TV credits: writer/performer on Comedy Central and Showtime. Off Broadway writer/performer Banned in France. Edinburgh Fringe: co-writer co-star Dick’s Island, a 12 character play for 2 women.
Never having had an art class in her life, Virginia began to study 5 years ago with Virginia artists Becky Parrish and Pam Black, concentrating on floral paintings and portraits. With Pam Black and Becky Parrish in 2021 she took part in her first show at the Arts Center of Orange “Demystify Exploring the Way Artists Work”.
Virginia believes that with portraiture especially in her background in comedy has hugely influenced her painting, because success in comedy requires close close observation, just as comedy does. Comedy can only be truly funny when it reflects reality, which requires a great deal of close observation of human behavior. Similarly she has found that the most critical factor in painting a portrait is looking, truly seeing and reflecting the character of one’s subject. It's about proportion: a character played too broadly is never believable and a portrait without accurate proportions never renders a good likeness.
Since beginning to paint Virginia finds she loves to paint portraits, chiefly of children and dogs, with her English setters as muses. And finally she finds great freedom in sometimes painting whimsical, even comical subjects, since after all her first love was comedy.