My newest watercolor in a series of experimental portraits are available on my online gallery, danitaart.com
As an artist, it is necessary to be in continuous renewal, or you run the risk of being immobilized and frozen. To me, change is a needed evolution an I always go out and do new things, techniques and materials to learn more and more. I know my lifetime will not be enough to learn all I want, and I wish to try everything.
My latest series of watercolors are a vivid example of that. Different faces, new techniques and materials, and the same time, surprisingly, still me.
It was one of these days when I did not feel particularly creative, but I felt the need to create something, and just staring at art books and my watercolor paintings (Something that always cheers me up!) was not enough.
So I took brushes, paper and paints and I just started with drops and swirls of color, mesmerized about how the paint dances and creates beautiful patterns on the paper.
I kept at it for some time, just playing with absolutely no purpose except watching the color swirl and mix on the paper.
And then her.
And her. And many more. Before I knew it, I had a collection of little portraits that I had absolutely no intention of making in the course of a week, but they happened. Just by playing with my materials, with no exact destination in mind I allowed my creativity to spark.
If youseethecompletewatercolorpaintingcollection, you will notice that there is not a lot of consistency between them, because they were made on a whim, without judging and without any criticism from myself. I just let myself go and let art happen.
After a while I realized the power of playing just for the sake of playing, and how as adults we have lost the ability to lose ourselves into the world of our imagination and just get lost there.
Have you seen children play when you leave them with creative toys like dolls or blocks or boxes? How their play is pure imagination and nothing more, and how they get lost in their creations without judgement?
A cardboard box can be a fortress, then a spaceship and a minute later a giant dinosaur after them. They don’t care, they just use what they have and let their playful nature take command.
I encourage you to try it. Just get your favorite creative tool and let yourself go. Don’t worry about what you are using, or if it’s going to be wasted paper and paint. It will not be wasted.
By freeing your mind from restrictions and just play, you will change your mindset and you will explore your materials in a very different way than when you work. You will enjoy every little surprise, every little mistake will be joyful because you discovered something new.
You will have fun and will love both the process and the end result, and you will be surprised when you realize what you are capable of after letting yourself go without inhibitions.
I always make special little things for Valentines day, my second most favorite holiday in the world. It may be corny and full of saccharine, but I like it. The combination of pinks and blues is one of my favorite and I always make time to enjoy the day with the ones I love.
Each little angel girl is made on a 3×6 inches wood block with paper collage techniques and mixed media painting for their faces.
Their eyes are deep and expressive, full of love for you.
Their paper wings are covered with mica flakes to catch the light that shines on them when you hang them on your favorite wall or place them on a shelf.
They arrive with a little gift wrap, ready to be given away as soon as you take them out from the packaging 🙂
They are perfect because I love working on projects at the time and I rarely visit one of the projects, so these collection are perfect for me because I can make a collection while keeping them fresh and exclusive, and it’s always such a thrill to work with them. I love to make each one individually unique, with it’s own personality.
Lady Clementine is one of my latest paper clay, handmade art dolls. She has a very interesting story on how she evolved and changed as I was bringing her into our world, and I thought it will be fun to show you.
Well, you already know that everything starts with an idea, and sometimes this idea is sleeping on my mind so deeply, that not even I know it’s there.
Then, just like that, the idea came from it’s slumber and she awoke. She was coming from my world into ours and she needed my help. So, I gave her a glittery horn and a unicorn princess was born.
And being a princess, a unicorn princess to be exact, meant that she needed to be perfect. We tried lots and lots of hair until I found the perfect shade for her.
A perfect shade of pale pink that goes with her magical presence and her limitless innocence.
A lacy gown, pure white and vaporous like magic is what I had in mind for her clothes, so we got to work. Almost done!
But… Alas! Her face was perfect… for someone else. So we talked over and decided we needed to start all over again. No shame, no anger. She commands and I must obey.
Art behaves in very strange ways. Sometime I start with a very clear path but something happens that takes me in a totally different direction. Her eyes are now green and she has glitter in them to reflect the magic within.
Now her face has softer features, her eyes shine with magic and she looks much more innocent than in the beginning. She is ready to step into our world.
Our photographer said she was a challenge to capture her beauty. Like the magical creature she is, she proved to be elusive and mysterious, but in the end with some convincing she let herself photograph. Definitively, Unicorns are very difficult to catch on camera.
Thank you for the overwhelming success of my 2017 ACEO calendar! I almost ran out of wood blocks on the first day of sales!
The wood blocks I use for the calendars are vintage toy wood blocks from the 1950’s (I really insist on them being vintage!) and they have been harder and harder to get over time, so the supply of wood blocks for the calendars get shorter.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on another box of wood blocks and I have a limited supply of bases to prop your 2017 ACEO calendar on your desk.
I am super exited to be part of the exhibit, there are great artists showing there during the month of December, and I’m honored to be along with them.
I’m also very very happy to read their description they wrote for one of my paintings, “Merry Go Wolf” It’s one of my favorite paintings and I really liked the dark and sweet combination on it.
Also, I had “Merry Go Alice“, My favorite work and one the centerpieces of my summer exhibit “Among princesses and wolves” sent to “Winter Salon VI“. I was very surprised when the let me know I did not make it to the opening night. It sold on the day they received it! Someone saw it while it was being unpacked and now Alice is living on a private collection.
If you happen to be In Albuquerque, NM and you want to see amazing art, drop them a visit and send me note letting me know what you think. You’ll get to see my largest paintings, touch and try out my latest jewelry and lots of other cool things from amazing artists.
It’s time to make dolls! I got the urge to get my doll making materials and create something!
As always, everything starts with an idea. I work on my sketchbooks and then I go back to them to get the best ideas for my new girls, and I start making the bodies using the same techniques I use in my online class, “A Doll Story”
While I am making the bodies, I use paper clay to sculpt the faces, and I carve the facial features after the initial shape of the head is setup.
Then, it’s time to paint the faces! Using the mixed media materials like pencils, pastels, acrylics and oils that I always use on my paintings, I create beautiful faces on their heads, with eyes and a soul within them.
Layer upon layer of acrylic paint, pastels, pencils and oil paintings are used to create the beautiful shine I give to my doll’s eyes. When you gaze into their eyes, you can be sure that a little piece of me and my memories lives in each one of them.
It’s time to let them dry, so I go ahead and I start designing their clothes using my collection of fabrics I have collected over the year on my visits to thrifty stores and other unusual places.
After the heads are dry, I start making their arms and legs using the techniques you have learned from my online doll making class, “A doll story”
And as I attach the arms and legs, I take the fabrics I selected for the dresses and start to create personalities for each one of them, thinking about how they want to look and what colors will suit them best.
Another thing I do is attach porcelain arms and feet as I attach the arms. I bought vintage molds to create the arms and legs and I pour each arm and leg using liquid clay and porcelain in my studio ahead of time so I always have a batch of arms and legs to use whenever inspiration strikes.
Finally it’s time to start dressing them up! I design, cut and sew each one of their clothes and sometimes I create several layers of clothes for them. Like this girl, who will have very fluffy underpants to wear beneath her handmade skirt.
Final details on their clothes like hand painting their boots are next, and those little details are, to me, the most important details that will give the doll a real life and personality.
But something is still missing…. They are bold! So, it’s time to pick up 100% natural wool and give them hair on their heads.
So much to choose from! I have to decide on a color, and a style, and a hairdo. Lots of work but finally, each one of them tell me how she wants to look.
After all that work, they are almost done! It’s a matter of giving them accessories and to start preparing the boxes they will live in.
And then, the final step is to send them to my photo studio, where they get their final photos and they are ready to be adopted!
I hope you enjoyed this look at the process of making these beautiful art dolls, they are a lot of work, but for me, it’s worth every second I spend making them. Bringing them to life from raw materials fills me with an incredible joy and happiness.
And I want to thank you, because as I was typing this post, all of them got adopted. They are very happy to have found a forever home, and I know they will be loved when they arrive to their families.
Place it anywhere where you need a tiny calendar that does not take too much space to remind you of important dates and events and inspire you through the year, it comes with an optional vintage wood block to keep it standing anywhere you place it.
Arrives neatly wrapped in a cute vintage style package, ready to prop it or give it away… It’s a wonderful stocking filler! And once you are done with each month as the year goes by, the cards can be kept as little art prints, bookmarks or part of your very own art projects 🙂