“Good paintings seem to be born from pleasant times strolling along with my senses and emotions open or tuned into the day until something connects.”
People often aske me how I paint. First, let me say that I prefer creating art, doing the actual painting, than trying to explain the process, but here goes.
For me, good paintings seem to be born from pleasant times strolling along with my senses and emotions open or tuned into the day until something connects–or begs to be drawn. I then sketch for the joy of sketching, the joy of being, and the joy of the day. Later, when I look at the sketch, I remember that day–the smell of the frangipani, the coo of a bird or whatever made that moment call out to be sketched.
From the pile of sketches, the wealth of moments accumulated in sketchbooks, I select a couple of images that I doodle in a special sketchbook. I begin working with the composition, distorting the sketch into what I remember. I rarely work with sketches less than two months old.
When I lived on a sailboat, I was always painting two countries behind. The few images that I do select for the special sketchbook, I draw in dozens of thumbnail pictures until I feel that I have captured a memory. Then I paint a small color study. Sometimes I prefer the small color study to the full sheet watercolor of the same image. The small study has a freshness to it that often eludes the larger works.
Do I work from photographs? I use my camera mostly to capture shadows. The camera can freeze a single coherent moment of light–shadows on the wall or sunlight of the water. Usually, when I am sketching on location I take a photo of the scene I’ve just drawn. I file the photos in a shoebox and use them more as a reference for light and shadows. As to the actual color of a building or the color of flowers, I paint what I feel rather than what I saw.
Dana has been painting watercolors of the Virgin Islands for over two decades and is please to share her art in limited edition prints. She and her husband produce each print with the use of continuous ink jet technology. Four calibrated color streams of archival inks deposit four million tiny droplets per second on the same Arches watercolor paper used by Dana for her originals. Her husband prints and she oversees every detail of the reproduction process. The result is a magnificent display of color with the precise hue, value, and density of the original. Dana limits and numbers each print adding to its worth and her signature on each piece attests to the quality. Giclees have been shown in exhibitions and purchased for permanent collections in museums throughout the US and abroad.