Using texture and loose brushwork, Dara Daniel’s dreamy landscapes and nature paintings reflect a sense of peace and harmony. Visit her website to see more of her artwork.
I made the decision years ago to move from my hometown in rural Michigan to study art in Northern California. Since then, I have gained experience in sculpture techniques and materials, figure drawing, and most painting mediums. I received a BA from Chico State in Chico, California and an MA from Humboldt State in California. While attending college and for at least a decade after graduating, my focus was the female form. During this era of my life, I created original sculptures made of Ferro-cement and wood as well as clay. I explored painting during this time, too.
Today, painting is my passion and nature is my inspiration and constant muse. For almost a decade now, I have embraced and enjoyed painting a variety of subjects within the theme of nature such as birds and trees, or marshes and creeks with reflective waters.
I also love painting fields of wildflowers.
Recently, I added horses to my repertoire (a favorite subject I liked drawing as a kid). I also love the changing seasons as each season brings new inspiration every year.
As the seasons change, so does my color palette. My paintings are either predominately composed of warm fall or fresh spring colors. Sometimes my art feels to me like a metaphor of the changing seasons of life in general.
I paint in my studio using my imagination and own photographs. My portfolio contains acrylics on canvas and oils on canvas. Each of these mediums has different qualities; therefore, my approach and the outcome of each medium varies somewhat.
For all my paintings I simplify and idealize my compositions by eliminating unnecessary details and arranging elements to achieve elegance and balance. My color choices are intuitive and not necessarily realistic. I often exaggerate colors to convey moods.
While I am painting, I rely on my innate sense of design to orchestrate all the available elements — form, shape, line, color, tonal values and negative spaces. At the same time, I stay open to experimenting and exploring various techniques such as robust palette knife applications or different color combinations.
Being spontaneous is an essential part of my process. As each painting evolves and becomes lively and emotive, I discover what I need to do to bring each one to completion.
During my journey as an artist, I’ve found that it is important to me to create paintings that have personality and delight the viewer’s visual sense. Most importantly, I want to create art that others can connect with on an emotional level. I am sincerely grateful to those who find my real and imagined landscapes evocative. The adjectives people most use to describe my art are beautiful, peaceful and tranquil. To me, this also expresses how I see the natural world and how I feel when I am in nature.
Artist Dara Daniel invites you to follow her on Facebook.