Friday, January 7, 2011

Artist Profile--Dayna Collins

Our featured artist this month is Dayna Collins. Dayna is one of those prolific artists who always seems to be experimenting with something new. Whatever she does, she brings a fresh, funky edge to it.

1. What are the main mediums you use? What do you find satisfying about them?

I love paint and I love texture, I especially love combining the two. I like using layers of texture and paint, embedded with images and words, then scritching, scratching, and sanding away layers, only to add more. It becomes like an archeological dig, revealing bits, but not everything. I also like working with metal and found objects and have recently been playing with making what I call Funky Junkyard Birds.

  1. If someone were going to get started in those mediums, what suggestions would you give?

I’m a big fan of taking classes. I like being shown how to do something, I also like that a block of time has been dedicated to the class, which allows me to stay focused on what I’m learning. If I try and learn something on my own, I’m usually too easily distracted!

For further inspiration, I maintain an art library of books written by my favorite artists, and I subscribe to magazines such as Somerset Studio and Cloth Paper Scissors.

3. A perfect art day would look like:

A perfect art day could be one of two things, preferably a little of both. First of all, it would involve going junking – going to secondhand stores, flea markets, or garage sales. The second part would involve making art with girlfriends around a big table. Ideally, we would junk in the morning, then create art in the afternoon. Lattes would be involved.

4. Do you have dedicated studio space? Give a brief description of where you work.

I have a studio, which I sometimes call my “playhouse.” About a year and half ago we converted a small one-bedroom rental into my studio. It’s on an alley across the street from a park and has lots of storage and workspaces. It was featured in a recent issue of Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOS magazine.

5. Favorite place you've visited or lived?

I’ve always lived in the Pacific Northwest. I was raised in Portland and moved to Salem over 30 years ago for my husband to attend school. We ended up staying in Salem, which was a nice place to raise our three children. The kids have all moved away so now we split our time between Portland and Salem – the best of both worlds. Favorite places I’ve visited outside of Oregon include New York, Paris, and Pompeii.

6. What inspires you (or are there recurring themes in your work)?

I am inspired by texture, mystery, and layers. Circles tend to be a reoccurring theme in most of my work, as do words and text. Bright, bold colors always catch my attention and usually find their way into my work, especially the use of red.

7. I still struggle with ...

creative confidence. That old critical voice can sometimes get a bit loud and I have to beat it back on occasion. Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has given me lots of tools for dealing with my self-doubt, tools such as Morning Pages, Artist’s Dates, and affirmations. I also find that surrounding myself with creative, confident women helps tremendously and being a member of the Portland Art Collective has broadened my base of artistic support.

8. I'd be lost without...

my husband. He cheers me on in my artwork and is my biggest fan. He helps me with mechanical or technical issues when they arise, and amazingly, he supports my junking obsession.

9. Favorite dessert?

Crème brulee. Nuff said. Well, dark chocolate is a close second, no maybe, first. Okay, crème brulee and dark chocolate.
10. What's on the horizon?

I’ve been teaching expressive arts workshops and 12-week sessions of The Artist’s Way for the past several years and I’ve decided not to do any teaching in the first part of 2011. I can’t say that I won’t return to teaching, but I want to focus on painting and creating bigger pieces. I have a show coming up March-April in Salem, which will focus on large pieces using a variety of textures. I also want to continue developing my series of Fearless Faces.

If anyone wants to see more about what I’m doing, please check out my blog: or my website:


stephanie brockway said...

Ha , I know where that 1st photo of you was taken...OCAC! I recognize the counter top, and I agree about a perfect art day, shopping+ art+ freinds= perfect!

shelby said...

inspiring as always Dayna - I always feel so blessed when I get to be among those at the table with you making art!!

Bobbie said...

What a great write up on YOU!! And yes, there is indeed something so very special about sitting at your table - kind of "crown worthy"!

Lynn said...

Thank you, DAYNA! love this interview... another way you have inspired me~ Bravo on all your creative successes and the commitment you've made to shine!!

Tory Brokenshire said...

i love the perfect art day, heaven!
Great write up.