The Heroine’s Journey of Doranne Alden

What is the best thing that I love about my work? 
First of all, I think the best thing is the fact that I can do it anytime and anywhere I happen to be. That is I can work from home, which is where I teach on a regular basis. I have several groups during the week and then again I also teach at my other home on the island of Gozo. Here I host painting courses, 3 day workshops and a bi-annual 7-day painting holiday too. When this part of my career opened up 7 years ago, my opportunities to tutor painting broadened to overseas as I was then invited to tutor groups in beautiful locations in different countries.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? 
Finding a beautiful quiet space and settling down to create my next painting. Also having a successful vernissage either locally or abroad and getting great reviews.
What is my greatest fear? 
Losing all my artwork through water-damage as this happened to me before in the past.
While working as a graphic designer back in the late 1980s, my office flooded during a big storm and I lost all my portfolios with 15 years plus of my artworks, which I had been storing on the ground floor level of the office. It was a devasting experience which I tried to get over as quickly as I could, but the fear of loosing my work still worries me to this day.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? 
Perhaps my greatest flaw would be that I can be overcritical with myself and so get demoralised easily. Then again I think that this is most artist’s and creative’s greatest mountain to climb on their artistic journey.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? 
I love many artists and for different reasons. Perhaps my most favourite artist would be a local artist called Andrew Borg. He’s a excellent artist, while being prolific he also expands his creative boundaries by trying so many diverse topics and media. Another person would be Gareth Reid who won Sky TV’s Portrait Artist of the year in 2017 and as I knew him before hand we organised a workshop together here on the island of Malta which was a huge success. His work is definitely amazing.
And last but not least my father Albert Joseph Caruana who was my main inspiration as a child, for wanting to be an artist in the first place.
What is my greatest extravagance? 
Buying the best artists materials I can find even when I do not need them. Sometimes I will see some new product online or in the art shop and say that I must get it no matter what as I would probably require the use of it down the line. This is most times the case though so I can justifiy doing this.
On what occasion would I lie? 
I do not usually find it easy to lie, but if I am put in a position where I want to protect an idea or project I might make something up or change the subject. My work is very personal and I do put in a lot of thought and energy into it, therefore I am very protective of what would be currently working on.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? 
My depleting energy levels which are not always there and so I get very upset with myself that I cannot do more that I can. Also not being able to display my work to the best possible opportunity.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? 
I have several memories during my career where I was especially happy. I loved being a young energetic graphic designer in the 1980’s working on magazines and corporate identity. There was another exciting time in the late 80’s for me, when I first opened my advertising agency with a partner. Being both independent women we were both very creative and loved working on new projects together. Later on my happy memories would be teaching plein air painting classes on the island of Gozo, in some beautiful untouched piece of Gozitan coastline by the sea and then knowing that I still had a whole week doing this with my group.
If I could, what would I change about myself?  I wish that I was not growing older as I do not have enough time to learn more about painting and do everything I want.
What is my greatest achievement in work? 
Being asked to be part of a prestigious publication alongside my dear artist father. This was entitled publication is entitled, Two Generations of Maltese Artist Families and was the brainchild of a local bank that sponsors the arts.
Also being recognised locally as a top artist and being respected by my fellow artists whom I also admire. Again another experience was winning first prize for Watercolours in a National competition where the artwork had to be unsigned.
Where would I most like to live? 
Italy would be my dream place to live, somewhere by the sea, say in Sicily, or Puglia or Sardinia. I should also have to have a beautiful large studio to be able to work and share the space with anyone who would want to paint there with me.
What is my most treasured possession?
Besides my family and pets, of course my material possession would be all my paintings and art materials and supplies. Also my cameras.
What is my most marked characteristic?
As a person I would probably say my positive outlook on life and that I love a joke, so do not take things too seriously if possible. In my art on the other hand is my love of colour and its vibrancy. As a naturally positive person I try to mirror this in my work and also method of teaching.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? 
My inspiration would come mostly from the sea which I am surrounded by as I live on an island in the Mediterranean. But my most inspiring and loved area is known as Dahlet Qorot Bay, which is so spectacular and inspiring, that I can go there all year round for painting and photography.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?
There are several places here on my islands to eat out; I would say though that my favourite would be one that is located by the sea with facilities to eat outside in summer and inside in winter while still enjoying the view of the sea: offering great seafood to the bill.
What books influenced my life and how?
As a child I always loved to go through my father’s art books and art magazines, but I would say that the ones that really taught me a lot about art and where I would follow in my life were the books The History of Art and the History of Modern Art both by Gombrich.
Who are my favorite writers?
While I do not get much time to read whole books these days, I love to read anything about art of course. But I have to say that I do love reading my son’s work as he is a writer, an activist and policitian and writes beautifully.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? 
I love most music genre that was produced before 1990’s, with a few exceptions of course, but of course I say this because of my age perhaps. I do have to say though that I would definitely listen to my daughter’s music as she is a singer/songwriter and she graduated at Codarts in Rotterdam, where she is now living. She has a way with her lyrics and music that reach my heart and inspire me even while painting. But this I think I should leave for you to discover as I will later mention her for you to tell her story too.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? 
This is a good question, I would definitely say Mrs. Marple as I love mystery and drama.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
But in real life my heroine would be my mum, rest her soul. She was the one who always had my back and encouraged me to pursue my artistic career.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?
Call me romantic perhaps but I loved and still love watching ‘Chocolate’. It has everything I love about a film, human interaction, a beautiful setting, great script, and most of all that atmosphere of her beautiful chocolate shop which the mysterious story of her past.
What role plays art in my life and work?
I would say that art is my life and so my work is my life. I have been painting since I can remember and first went to art school at the age of 14 years which was when they let students take up art seriously here in Malta at the time. I was driven then and still driven now to paint a picture almost everyday. My collection of artwork has grown to such an extent that I almost have no more space to put it.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? 
Oh that one is easy, my husband I think would have to be my greatest support of all. We met when I was 19 years old … and have been together ever since.
Whom would I like to work with in 2019? 
I wish I had someone to promote my work, a good serious agent or a great gallery. We shall see what the future holds.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2019?
Someone who has a great knowledge about what makes good art and also be happy to work with me on the same level of enthusiasm and interest in my style of painting.
What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on?
My next painting holidays in September and November and also a few workshops which I am planning.  I am also thinking that it is about time that I plan another solo exhibition. When and Where is still to be decided.
Where can you see me or my work in 2019?
At the moment I have some pieces on display and for sale in a presigious Gallery called Camilleri Paris Mode. I also have websites where my work can be seen. The following are just a few of my sites where you can see me and my work.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?  
That is me to a “T” I would say. I can imagine that when I am older I will still be pursuing me artistic dreams whatever they maybe.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

My creative heroine would certainly have to be my daughter – Alexandra Alden. At only 25 years she already has made quite something of her artistic career. You can find her on Spotify, Soundcloud and other music platforms under –

How can you contact me?
You can reach me on the following email addresses – or

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s