Hi I'm donna lee gauntlett


Who would believe a 52 year old woman would decide to write, illustrate, design, and format her first book in March and publish it and a companion coloring journal eight months later... all because of the challenges and struggles she had been through AND how she found joy in the middle of chaos. Seems like a dream come true- it was!

"So how did a middle age woman find her purpose and passion?" 

This is a bit of my story and how I discovered my passion through art journaling at the “darkest” time in my life.

I grew up in a two parent home with some very artistic family members.  I was the youngest of four and didn’t seem to possess those talents or so I thought.

As the years went by I did find that I was drawn to arts and crafts and other things that allowed me to express myself but I had a fear.

The crazy thing is I found I was happiest when I could use my abilities that allowed me to express myself creatively.  I still felt that I was not talented artistically but I was doing things that required artistic talent.


So I dabbled in photography, scrapbooking, photo collaging, rubber stamping, stenciling, sand coloring, jewelry-making and...I tried to draw.   I spent more money on erasers than the pencils.  I had taken some graphic design classes and found that I was good at expressing myself by manipulating photographs and creating collages with multiple images.

Then my troubles began.  I started having health issues.  Before I knew it, I was so sick, that I didn’t know if I would make it.  I had excruciating pain around the clock.  I no longer could function as an able bodied adult.

I was told that I needed to start journaling.  The requirement was that I could only use a pen.  There would be no erasing because there are no mistakes.  That’s what I did.  At first I just wrote about my pain and my day to day living on lined paper.   Then I was given a journal with no lines and it was suggested that I draw things that made me happy or how I wanted to be feeling.  The intention was to make it a positive experience for me every time  I opened my journal.  From there, my drawing took off.  A transformation had taken place.  I started combining my love of creating collages in the form of drawing and always adding inspiration to each page I created.

Over the last few years I have taught art and graphic design classes.  I've worked with seniors with dementia combining my love of art and storytelling. I started a program called Just Drawing it Out which helps students express their creativity through the use of pens, markers and journals. I took a chance and started selling my artwork and later I went on  to create my first custom calendar and not too long ago I wrote and illustrated my first inspirational memoir accompanied by a creative coloring journal. 

Yes, I can finally call myself an author and artist and be proud of what I've accomplished. I have been able to inspire, encourage and uplift others through my artwork and my story.  I'm so glad dreams have no expiration.