New Year, New Website

A new website has been in development for me since last summer, so you can imagine how excited I am to share my new site. The revamoped website lives at www.daynajcollins.com and you can be redirected to my new site by simply clicking here.

If you would like to receive notification when I do a blog post (about two to three posts per month), please subscribe using the form on the new blog post site. If are currently a subscriber, you will need to fill out a new form at the new site.

Sending you all wishes for a Happy New Year.

 

PS If you’re looking for someone to help you navigate IT issues or work with you to develop a website, I highly recommend Phil Webb of Dial A Tech. He met with me regularly, listened to my concerns and ideas, and offered suggestions about layout and functionality.

Big News: I’m teaching oil and cold wax at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology!

I began painting about 12 years ago, primarily in acrylic and occasionally in some form of mixed media. In 2012 I took a class that changed my painting life. The class was Abstract Oil Painting with Oil and Cold with Allen Cox and the class was held at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. It wasn’t my first class there, but it was when I learned to paint using cold wax medium, Galkyd, and oil paint, all mixed together into a glorious luminous concoction that was spread using palette and putty knives. It was also the first time I really figured out how to use oil paint sticks. I was hooked.

 


Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. It is a magical place located in the woods at Cascade Head on the Oregon Coast. This explains what Sitka is about:

 
Founded in 1970, the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology fosters creativity, intellectual inquiry and education. By helping others discover more about their core creative selves and their connections to nature, the Sitka Center works to fulfill its mission of expanding the relationships between art, nature and humanity.

The Sitka Center offers workshops, residencies and community events, while maintaining a facility appropriate to its needs in harmony with its inspirational coastal environment near Cascade Head and the Salmon River estuary. Literally a center at the edge – where land meets sky, saltwater meets freshwater – the Sitka Center is a place where a diverse group of people and ideas converge, co-mingle and depart transformed.

Our Workshop Program (May through September) provides people of all levels the transformative and joyful experience of making art and exploring their connections to nature. We offer over 100 one- to five-day intensives on drawing, painting, music, nature, woodworking, encaustics, food, sculpture, fiber arts, kayaking, jewelry, metal work, photography, printmaking, and writing. Professional artists and ecology experts guide the instruction in one of the Center’s five studios or outdoors in the natural environment of Cascade Head and Salmon River estuary. The annual workshop catalog is available in print and online in February each year.

 


Which leads me to the heart of my news: I’m teaching an oil and cold wax class at Sitka next summer! Pinch me. It has been a dream for a long time. I’ve taken some amazing classes at Sitka, had fabulous teachers, hiked to the top of Cascade Head, roamed in the woods surrounding the Center, and made art that is hanging in several homes.


My class is called Abstracted Waterlines in Oil and Cold Wax. In determining the theme for my class, I wanted to incorporate the landscape as inspiration, so using the ocean, river, and estuary as a jumping off point, we will take where water meets land and abstract it into a series of compositions.

The class is TENTATIVELY scheduled for June 5-8 (four full days) and will be held in Boyden. Pinch me again. I’ve taken all of my classes in that large wood lined studio and to have the privilege to teach in that sacred place, well, I’m a bit verklempt. The cost for the four-day class is $400, with a materials fee of $25 (I bring and share a lot of supplies).

Registration doesn’t open until February, 2017, (February for members, but you can join for as little as $50 and have the opportunity to register in February), and registration for everyone opens in March (the Sitka website has all of the dates listed). Again, please realize that until Sitka has finalized the summer class schedule, my June dates are subject to change; I’ll confirm the dates once the final schedule is off to the printers.

In the class we’ll be working on several boards at the same time, along with working on Arches Oil Paper (or if you prefer, you can work exclusively on the miracle known as Arches Oil Paper). We will experiment with working in layers, building texture, scraping away, and then doing it all over again.

We will work intuitively and abstractly, exploring texture, layers, composition and design, and use of color through oil paint and pigment sticks. We’ll also work with various forms of mark-making, adding energy and interest through the use of lines and marks. The layers dry quickly and clean up is done with baby or mineral oil. You will complete several pieces during the four days and go home with several starts. The class is designed for all levels of expertise and no prior experience is needed.


I’m sharing all of this now so you have time to mark your calendars, maybe ask for the class as a holiday gift, or perhaps get a couple of friends rounded up to rent a house in Lincoln City, Pacific City, or one of the vacation homes right at Cascade Head.

Please contact me if you have any questions about the class, mediums, or the process. My e-mail is: dayna@alleyartstudio.com

What’s Your Story, Real or Imagined: Telling Stories Through Black & White Photos

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I’m excited to share a project that I’ve been working on for many months. Someone recently asked me where the idea came from and I realized it has actually been in the works for years. I told them:  It has been inside me for a long time and most of my mixed media art has  been leading up to this special project, although I didn’t know it at the time.

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It was 2007 when I created a class called Itty Bitty Pretties. It involved creating little tiny mini collages on 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 inch squares: a background, a cut out black and white photograph, a word,  and finally, an assemblage piece; each one represented a different family member.  Here is 64.

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It has been inside me for a long time and most of my mixed media art has been leading up to this special project, although I didn’t know it at the time.

Jump ahead to 2012, when I started creating mixed media collages on playing and flash cards. During the summer of that year I lived on a boat at the Portland Waterfront for 29 days; I created a card for each day I was there.

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In the fall of 2015, I made a travel journal in the style of my current project, creating about 60 pre painted pages, which I embellished throughout the 40 days I was gone.

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At the beginning of this year, I started to lay the framework for an idea to take all of these past projects and incorporate them into a new one. It gets a bit blurry about the timing. I remember working on page backgrounds when we went to Arizona in February, where I slathered paint and created texture using plaster and gesso, always writing and embedding text into the wet paint and over the dry plaster.

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what-is-your-story-6I remember returning to my studio and beginning the process of gathering textiles, ephemera, and little found objects to eventually incorporate into my collage pieces. I also began gathering dozens of black and white photographs, mostly of strangers.

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april-2016-2In May of this year, I went on an art retreat with my Portland Art Collective, where I spent three days composing and auditioning layouts.

 

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After returning from the retreat, I continued building my collages and gave them a name, What’s your Story, Real or Imagined: Telling Stories Through Black & White Photos. My collection of ephemera expanded, as did my obsession with black and white photographs.

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I continued building my collages and gave them a name, What’s your Story, Real or Imagined: Telling Stories Through Black & White Photos. My collection of ephemera expanded, as did my obsession with black and white photographs.

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november-7These are a sampling of my mixed media collages and all are a work in progress. When I’m at my studio, I am continually digging through my bits and auditioning that one more thing to add another layer of interest and mystery.

november-13My plan is to continue working on these pages and in the fall of 2017, I’ll be offering a workshop at Salem Art Association’s Art Annex in conjunction with a collaborative history project, which is in the works.

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Art for Everyone: An Affordable College Art Textbook

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Over a year ago, I was invited to submit art to be used in a college textbook being published by Chemeketa Community College. The book was being put together by the Chemeketa art faculty in response to the steady rise of textbook prices. The textbook being used for ART 101 had risen to $214.  For the past year, a beta version of the faculty-produced textbook was used by students. During the year, the textbook was revised, edited, and fine tuned.

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The college recently published the first edition of the textbook, Art for Everyone, and it is available for only $28. To celebrate the launch of this beautiful book, artists who submitted art to the textbook were invited by the art faculty at Chemeketa Community College to participate in an art exhibit at the Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery, located in the heart of the campus.

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The reception was held on Wednesday, November 2nd in the afternoon so students would be able to attend. There was a steady stream of visitors, students, and artists, with introductions and the story behind the book shared with everyone present. Here I am standing in front of my piece, The Essence of a Thing, which appeared in the chapter titled Nonrepresentational Approaches, in a subsection on Color Field Painting.

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A few photos from the afternoon reception . . . .

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The other piece I had in the book (but not in the show), was Freedom in the Silence, which appeared in the chapter titled Formal Elements: Value and Color; my art was featured in the section on Complementary Color Schemes.

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Painting for Pleasure, Seriously

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At the end of October, I had the pleasure to take a five-day workshop with William Park, a Portland artist. For five days we had morning demos, then the luxury of painting the rest of the day.

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In the afternoon Bill would share artists he loves and we would have chats about the love of painting and the challenge of keeping fear out of our process and paintings.

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On the first morning, we did a nice warm up exercise of making marks and adding paint. Simple, yet profound in the ability to jump start our week.

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The demos Bill did were primarily in acrylics, but I had brought my oil paints and a gallon of cold wax; there were eleven of us in class and a couple other people were painting in oils, so it was a mixed bag and we were encouraged to explore and do whatever we wanted.

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Bill made the rounds throughout the day, spending time with each artist for as long as they needed. Here he is with my friend Katy, who also took the class.

park-workshop-43For the first couple of days, I just laid down paint in order to get some early bright layers to respond to in later days. No fear, just the joy of painting and playing with color.

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I’m not sure I finished anything, but I made progress and came away with some wonderful early layers.

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And besides Katy being in the class, my good friend Stephanie was also there, so as you can imagine, we had a great five days together.

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A Studio Story

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I recently changed studios. It all happened rather quickly and unexpectedly, but I jumped on the opportunity to make the switch. I’ve been in Studio F since the Art Studios at Mission Mill opened in October of 2014. I started out sharing the space with my good friend Tory, then she moved out into Studio B sometime in 2015. For the past year, Studio F has been my space.

Two weeks ago, one of our studio members decided not to renew her lease, creating an opening for Studio A, a lovely corner studio overlooking the stream and the Willamette Heritage Center. Two artists were interested in the studio, Rollie and myself, so it required a dual, I mean a drawing, which occurred a week ago Friday. We sought out an independent person to do the drawing. Max Marbles, our resident bookbinder was selected, and the drawing took place, with Max’s son Spencer, doing the actual drawing.

 

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My name was drawn and I set to work putting my mark on Studio A, rushing against the clock in time for our monthly Art After Dark Open Studios. First up was painting, which I accomplished (with the help of my husband) on Sunday. tick tick tick

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Monday and Tuesday of last week were moving days. As I moved my stuff out of Studio F, Rollie was moving his stuff into Studio F, all part of the grand studio shuffle.

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Mission accomplished by Tuesday night, with fine tuning happening on Wednesday and Thursday, all in time for last Thursday night’s Open Studios.

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Studio glimpses:

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I am using Studio A as my special projects studio, and accordingly I moved the bulk of my oil and cold wax supplies to my painting studio at home. In my Mill studio I’ll be working on a project I’ve had in the works for several months: What’s Your Story? Real or Imagined. . . . telling stories through black and white photos.  More on all of this later.

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10th Annual Day of the Dead Show at Guardino Gallery

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For ten years, Guardino Gallery in NE Portland has hosted a dia de los muertos group art show. I’ve participated in many of the shows over the past ten years. This year the show moved to the Main Gallery and features over 50 artists. The show, curated by Donna Guardino and Stephanie Brockway, runs through October 23, so if you’re in Portland, I hope you’ll swing by and see an amazing show.

 

MY ART

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THE SHOW

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THE PARTY (I mean, opening reception)

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BONUS: Preparing

Make up done by our daughter, Amy Kayon.

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I’m Teaching! Four Days of Oil and Cold Wax

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If you’ve ever been interested in working in oil and cold wax, I have a great opportunity to immerse yourself for four consecutive days of art making in a beautiful new space. I will be teaching my Abstracted Play class at the Salem Art Association’s newly revamped and remodeled Art Annex on October 6-9, from 9:30-4:30. There will be plenty of time to dive in, learn new techniques, experiment, be inspired, inspire each other, work hard, and, of course, play. But first, this is the bright, airy, new space, located in the heart of Bush Park, where we will be meeting. And my class is the very first to be offered!

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This class is for everyone. If you have previously worked with oil and cold wax, this class will help take you to the next level, but it also works well for beginners with no experience at all. Oil paint mixed with cold wax is a versatile medium that creates rich luminosity and interesting surfaces. We’ll experiment with laying down paint, adding texture, scraping paint away, and then doing it all over again. And maybe yet again.

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During the four days, we will work on multiple pieces, working intuitively and abstractly, exploring texture, layers, composition, design elements, and use of color through oil paint and pigment sticks. We will explore making marks using graphite pencils, twigs and awls, solvents to remove paint and leave marks, and oil pigment sticks. We will be working on wood substrates as well as Arches oil paper.

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Oil paint mixed with cold wax allows the layers to dry quickly (and without much odor), and clean up is done with mineral or baby oil, so our use of solvents is very limited (or even unnecessary).

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The cost for the four full days of class is $350 with a $20 supply fee. I provide some materials and share all of my paints and pigment sticks. To register, just go to the Salem Art Association website using this link.

Passage: Caught in the Flow of Life

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Nine months ago I had the opportunity to become part owner in an art gallery. Along with Tory Brokenshire and Bonnie Hull, the three of us took over the reigns of Compass Gallery, located at the Willamette Heritage Center, where all three of us have upstairs art studios. We came up with nine months worth of shows and each of us took on a monthly task (Tory created the show cards, Bonnie kept our website current, and I produced the press release). Then there was the Herculean task of creating a steady stream of art every month (for those of us who didn’t have art in basement vaults). Yesterday, we hung our final show, Passage: Caught in the Flow of Life, which about sums up our nine-month grand experiment.

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We all enjoyed our time as gallery owners, and we especially loved having lunch together after hanging a new show. Yesterday was no exception. We enjoyed a long, leisurely lunch at Taproot in downtown Salem, plotting and scheming about future projects. You knew we weren’t going softly into the night, didn’t you?

Dayna september 1Fortunately, Compass Gallery will continue, reverting back to the original visionary, Catherine Alexander. There are some other changes in the wind with the gallery. . . . but all of that is for another day, another post.

Insight & Imagination

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I was invited by the staff at Willamette University’s Hatfield Library to curate an exhibit showcasing the art of Salem artists. This local exhibit is being presented in conjunction with a semi-permanent exhibit highlighting the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive, which features a collection of materials related to the careers of artists who are or were active in Oregon and Washington for the major portion of their careers. Several of the artists featured in the larger exhibit are also included in the Insight & Imagination exhibition.

A portion of the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive exhibit. The large painting is a piece by Rick Bartow.

A portion of the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive exhibit. The large painting is a piece by Rick Bartow.

Insight & Imagination represents the work of 23 talented, innovative, and active artists in Salem. Artists of all ages working in a wide range of genres were invited. Mediums represented include painting, textiles, assemblage, ceramics, book making, and photography. Artists were asked to submit a favorite art piece and since the work is not for sale, artists selected from their private collections or borrowed pieces from their collectors to display.

"Joyful Ride" by Tory Brokenshire

“Joyful Ride” by Tory Brokenshire

Along with their art, artists were asked to submit sketchbooks and a sampling of the tools they use to create their art, giving viewers a peek into their world of creation.

Sketchbook drawing by Heidi Preuss Grew

Sketchbook drawing by Heidi Preuss Grew

Last week I hung the show with the help of my good friend (and artist) Tory Brokenshire. When we first arrived at the library, Tory looked at the cases and looked at the art we had brought and said to me, “This isn’t all going to fit.” Fortunately, through auditioning, shifting, and a bit of creative magic, we were able to fit everything in perfectly.

The art is packed and ready for transport to the library.

The art is packed and ready for transport to the library.

Tory and librarian Joni Roberts nervously laugh at the enormity of the project.

Tory and librarian Joni Roberts nervously laugh at the enormity of the project.

We begin the process of putting the puzzle together. Tory is holding John Van Dreal's "Coleen With Pearl."

We begin the process of putting the puzzle together. Tory is holding John Van Dreal’s “Coleen With Pearl.”

The 23 featured artists represent a vibrant and thriving art community and we are honored and excited to present their work.

A sampling of the art:

"Fetching" by Elizabeth Bauman

“Fetching” by Elizabeth Bauman

"In Out Box" by Sandra Nichols

“In Out Box” by Sandra Nichols

"My Frida Bowl" by Mary Lou Zeek

“My Frida Bowl” by Mary Lou Zeek

"There Now" by Laura Mack

“There Now” by Laura Mack

"Time and Two Dorothys" by Kathryn Cellerini Moore

“Time and Two Dorothys” by Kathryn Cellerini Moore

 

But it is probably best to make your way to the Hatfield Library to see the art for yourselves and to spend some time at both exhibits.

Participating Artists:

Elizabeth Bauman
Rob Bibler
Tory Brokenshire
Heidi Preuss Grew
Charles Hannegan
Carol Hausser
Cynthia Herron
Bonnie Hull
Ann Kresge
Kristin Kuhns
Nancy Lindburg
Laura Mack
Kathryn Cellerini Moore
Dave Nichols
Sandra (Sloy) Nichols
Alexandra Opie
James Brandon O’Shea
Rebekah Rigsby
Susan Trueblood Stuart
Jed Thomas
John Van Dreal
Kay Worthington
Mary Lou Zeek

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The show will be up through October 28, and can be viewed at the Hatfield Library during daytime library hours.

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