She says that she has always had visual ideas swirling around her head. I am happiest when I have the time and space to follow my intuition and see what happens. From 4th-8th grade, after finishing her homework, she would spend a couple hours each day experimenting with Crayola watercolors, sewing little projects, dripping Tacky Glue or drawing with pencil. It was my own thing. I didn’t really share my experiments with anyone, because I didn’t think what I made was anything special. Since there were no “artists” in her family, she didn’t think she was doing anything more than playing around. Upon further reflection, she realized she had spent those formative years making art, being her own teacher.
When asked to categorize her work, she stated that this is difficult for her at this point in her career. Each work she creates shows her playful experimentation in subject matter, style or media. Her art ranges from abstract images created with transparent watercolors, to realistic pencil drawings, to underpass murals of ancient artifacts. Although she realizes the business side of art expects artists to have a specific style they are known for, she is still in the phase of trying a bit of everything right now. Perhaps I’ll always be in this stage…but I am not ready to rush into a commitment with any one style just yet. I think that is part of what I really like about her art…the experimentation, the evolution of her work especially because I can identify with that in my own art.
Currently, she enjoys submitting her work into group shows and at galleries, but most of her sales are directly to collectors that contact her through Facebook Messenger or her website. In addition, The Short North Arts District chose her Summer Dreams 1 painting to be one of the Blank Spaces Murals now located at 6th and High Street.
Interestingly, Art Education is the reason she began her mural work. After 6 years in the classroom, she worked for a few years doing administrative work at OSU. While there, she felt the need to share her commitment to Art Education mainly because working an office job was not fulfilling her. That was when she made the decision to start contacting city officials about painting community murals. This was her way of satisfying her commitment to art education. Public art is a way to share art with people of all walks of life, not just those that tend to visit museums and galleries.
Of course, her job as an Art Educator also allows her to inspire and expose young children to art, encourage their creativity and give them the opportunity to express their feelings through art. Recently, Danielle has particularly felt the pull to address the lack of ‘the village to raise a child’ in our current society as well as the inequality between races and genders. That has led her art into another direction where she has begun to create pencil drawings on wood canvases. Most of these have been of children, although, as you can see above, she has drawn animals (horses). These contemplative and meditative drawings have ignited a desire on her part to create a collection of children’s portraits that would form a circle to surround the spectator, featuring children of many races. I was in awe of these amazing pieces…pictures don’t do justice to the complexity of each piece, the number of strokes, etc. so I sure hope that she does have the opportunity to exhibit these pieces in the near future!
Have I said how much I love doing these interviews? Meeting artists like Danielle has not only been a privilege but an inspiration. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for her work and, particularly, the mural in Westgate Park…stay tuned!!!