Monday, November 28, 2011

Its GO Time: My FIRST solo show!

An art exhibition to benefit students in Western Kenya
In 2005 and 2006 Dana lived and volunteered at the Nehemiah Miwani Center, a sustainable community farm supporting orphans and families in Miwani, KenyaAfternoons painting watercolors turned into weeks teaching art at the local schools.
She returned to Bainbridge, suitcases full, with a promise to show the art of Kenya´s kids.
Finally for the first time ever her watercolor memories are going to be displayed up along with the dreams of her students. Come see and support these dreams!
Open house, meet the artist Sunday December 18th 3-5pm
Exhibition runs December 1st-31st 2011
4569 Lynwood Center Road NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
(206) 842-2814

Thats right, 60 Kenyan students' drawings framed and priced, 8 personal watercolors done signed, matted and framed, paintings scanned and ready for prints, posters up, Facebook page qued and up for online viewing, 2 bowls of ice cream, 1 season of Luther and too many nights of Friday Night Lights, but I am ready!
Proceeds from this show will go directly back to Nehemiah International to support scholarships and educational opportunities for students at the Miwani Center. 


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Full Circle: Social Media Connects!

As a high school student in 2004 I stayed with a family in Nicaragua for two weeks as part of a student exchange for our sister island assoication (BOSIA). That trip has opened so many doors in my life not to mention led me half way around the world to study spanish, fall in love, and get married, to mention a few. And the most amazing part is that in three weeks I return full circle. This time around my husband and I will be leading a group of students and staying in a town called Sacramento, only a 15 minutes bike ride from my original town of La Paloma. Students from Bainbridge take two weeks to serve, build community, and make friends disconnecting from the world of ipods and cars. Day in and day out they connect with local, geuine people, spend evenings chatting in Spanish, sit on neighbors porches exchanging culture, and see a life truely beyond what they know and expect.

And now the world of Social Media jumps in!

I have kept in touch with my family through letters here and there. My host mom calls my parents house at random moments. Unfortunantly I have never been around, which leaves my mother trying despertly to utter some gibberish to let my Nicaraguan mother know where I am. However, BUT, HOLD the PHONE, STOP me dead in my host sister Marcela, the beautiful girl who hovers at the top of my blog, Facebook friended me about a month ago. And the other day we chatted. Seven, I repeat SEVEN years later, through the world of social media my family reconnects with me. Now to clarify power, computers, and INTERNET are all very new to the Island some parts are still without. They would be lucky to have a stero in the house let alone a computer. But schools and internet cafes have opene the doors for students to communicate with the world. I won't insert several paragraphs of exclamation marks. However, I will end by saying this is a dream and a promise coming true.
Nicaragua HERE WE COME!
(My 18th birthday with my Nicaraguan family: Marcela, Michelle, Jarolito and me.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Early Morning Thought

Sometimes I wonder where my hunger for color comes from. There are days where I would like to do nothing more than paint a giant bright orange stripe across the watercolor sheet. Then of course I would have to spend hours layer more orange and red and yellow into various parts. And maybe some bright blue would be thrown in because those two colors together make something inside me jump in delight. Is it the grey winters in the Northwest that drives my color starvation? I am not a colorful dresser by any means. Look into my closet and greyish greens fades into blacks and browns with the occasional orange scarf.

I heard something wonderful the other day in the caboose. There shouldn't be greys and blacks in paintings. It just makes them muddy. Take a closer look at a shadow or a dark spot and you will see the brightest colors. Metephor for life? Perhaps.

Color for a grey March morning:
 (An eye candy that will have to wait until my Kenya show is finished.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Goal for 2011

It pedal to the metal time or rather brush to the canvas because I took a giant leap and scheduled an art show for December 2011. That's 10 months away, but in watercolor time its like three seconds. So I am back painting in the caboose, I have a table set up at home and in between my two/threeish jobs I am a painting fool!

In 2005 and 2006 when I spent the summer in Miwani, Kenya, I drew every night with the kids and taught art classes at a local school. All these drawings came home with me along with a promise to put on an art show to raise money for the community. Well its finally going to happen! I have until December to frame all their pieces and finish mine. Once the time gets closer I am hoping to run an article in the newspaper and get a little publicity afterall December is the "season of giving" right?

The show is going to be at a restaurant on the Island that has ample wall space, maybe too much, but I am determined to finish at least three big pieces this year (more than I have ever done in a single year).

Check out the venue: Treehouse Cafe

And to not leave anyone who might check into this blog on a semi-regular basis hanging,
mmm...who am I kidding...
here is a quick peak at whats to come:

Picture courtesy of Marit Krueger

This second picture is my first painting in the process. It is just coming out of the ugly stage (as I have coined because all painting go through this stage at one point or another). The whole piece will be posted when I finish it.

Based off a picture taken on my 35mm

Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Passion Grows: Commission Piece

I am shooting for one post a year it looks like. In my defense 2010 was full of moving countries, getting married twice and starting a new life. So painting had to be squeezed into spare moments. However, this piece was not rushed. This is a story of passion, passion flowers. They were my cousin's wedding flower and he asked me to do a piece for his wife for their anniversary. Now of course any painting has to come with a story and this painting has a worldy story.

We were living in Chile when I got this commission. And right outside out apartment a passion vine was exploding with blooms. Not only did I get to pick the lighting for my models but I got to choose the perfect flowers for Eric and Liz. And of course because they have a budding baby boy, I had to include him in the painting. This painting has survived an 8.8 earthquake, the chaos of moving continents, and customs officials.

So Happy Anniversary Liz just in time for Christmas!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Day at the Beach: Past and Present

Past and Present

While my imagination runs wild with color and images, I usually tend to stick to painting from photographs that I have taken. I wish I could just paint from my mind, but my detailed obsessive brain wants the image right in front of me. That is why, when my cousin sent me various photos to collage and turn into a painting I was nervous to say the least. I love painting people up close, but she didn´t want people to be the main focus. I don´t do landscape, but she wanted wide open spaces with wind and water and color. So this is me stepping out of my comfort bubble.

Two of her children help create the story and one very special character from the past is painted in. She is our grandmother who with her family visited this same beach every summer.

Grandma, you have the best seat in the house now. Sitting high above the livingroom, a window into our lives from the beach you loved the most. We love you.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The recycling story
*I am in the middle of a commision painting for a family member, sneak peak to come, but in the meantime: plastic bottle art!

It started with the plastic waters bottles that he bought right before coming to Chile so the change in water and bacterias wouldn't upset a sensetive stomach. Then a plastic bottle or two started showing up at the dinner table filled with nectarine juice. The epidemic continued from there with a coca-cola
bottle one night when the boterleria wasn't open and the empty glass bottle coudldn't be exchanged for a new full one. With each new edition to the broken bathroom turned storage area a growing fear creeped into the hearts of the bottles, the possibility of being tossed mindlessly into the dumpster bristled their necks. As the numbers rose, bottles were condemed to plastic bags to control the chaos. They continued to pile up until one day a notice was posted that they just couldn't stay there wasn't enough room for all the lost plastic bottles in the city.

"No! Your wrong! They can be saved!" the rebels screamed tearing down the notice.

More notices were posted and threats were mounted, but the bottles would not back down.
From that moment The Plastic
Bottle Army grew, preparing for its battle in the no recycle world, preparing to blast the world with their beauty and artistic ability.

They started small, holding the candles to light the ways towards victory.
Then they infiltraded the women's fashion department disgused as flowers.
Finally, all those who were similar in color and form bonded together for one last leap to freedom. Strengthened by wire they blocked the harsh florescent light of the enemy and glowed a brilliant yellow, blue, green and red.
The battle was long and backs ached from torcherous hours huddles around small campfires, but it was done. Art preveiled and the bottles won their fight in a non-recyle world.

Now, as new bottles find refuge after long hot summer days, a new war is rising and new art must be created.