Contemporary abstract artist Danielle Davis is a brilliant artist whose work evokes a feeling of serenity while engaging one’s intellect and spirit. I recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview Danielle and gain insight on what motivates and inspires this amazing artist.
“Abstract painting is a visual language that communicates our broader reality, inspiring understanding, connection, and exploration of subject. Color, form, and movement are presented as an exploration of how we relate to ourselves and the world through our senses. Themes presented in my work come from direct observation and point of view, and are expressed in abstract forms, reflecting a larger perspective: absolutes are the questions themselves.”
~ Danielle Davis
Tell us a little about yourself and your work…
I have always had a creative personality and was encouraged to explore it during childhood. It’s been with me ever since. The head space of seeing things, taking them and creating something entirely new to express an idea is a staple of my psychology from that early cultivation and freedom to indulge in it. I have explored a variety of styles, in the end it was always painting that I connected with most. Over the years it has been the constant and creatively speaking my one true love. There is something magic to me in the hand-craft of a brush or knife that always, along with whatever the piece is discussing/showing includes that touch of living humanity. An art piece is so much more than just what it appears to be. An expression of so many things that are connected to it’s every part. For me it really is a unique language that bridges the gap between the known and unknown.
Though actually creating art has been a constant, the selling of it has not. Over the years I would go on and off with spurts of small shows and private sales but a couple years ago I hit a point where it just clicked and I realized a thread that existed in my works. A larger statement I wanted to build from. As a result, I began to develop solid goals and I have worked on developing them. It’s been extremely fulfilling so far and I am excited to keep moving forward!
What does your average creative/work day look like?
Busy to say the least. I actively create new work so each day, first thing – I work on the piece or series I am involved in. Secondly, I take an allotted time to sketch new ideas, experiment with styles or research for future projects. It’s very important to me that those two items are done ‘every’ single day. Creativity is like a muscle in my opinion. It needs to be exercised the same way an athlete trains for a sport to maximize its results. I sell the majority of my own work,which, entails maintaining my own website and social media sites, so time is set aside for updating pages, networking, answering inquiries, taking care of any sales etc. I also dedicate an hour each day researching sales/marketing and a bit of additional time to journal how I could incorporate what I’ve learned that day into my own plans. Basically, I like to keep a healthy steady flow of both creative and business activity each day.
As an artist, what inspires and motivates you?
The bulk of my work is a study of understanding through ourselves and the world around us in the purest ways possible, so I am inspired by countless things. From the extremely large, down to the smallest details. Mainly I am drawn to looking at how things work or appear, what makes them tick and what that could mean. Getting to that place for me requires a great deal of silent time. Isolation while I am developing things is a key aspect of my work. Experimentation is another integral part. Just seeing something isn’t enough, a firmer ground of understanding always leads to a question so exploring the unknown in a more open way is just as important. I am motivated by the idea of evolving. That is the grand goal for me. My art is a manifestation of that.
What is your outlook on art and life?
Art to me is the greatest communicator. Each style and work its own unique language. I have a great appreciation for all things creative. I look at creating and viewing in very different ways though. As an artist, I am extremely systematic and disciplined as a creator. I have very specific processes and boundaries for each work. I do not run as a very free spirit when I create. For me it’s definitely a discipline I consider an extension of my personal growth. As much as it is art, it is also part of my processing the understanding of the world. I save the open side for the planning but very confined in my actual constructing the pieces. Things must be just so and if something isn’t working I could very well scrap the whole thing and begin again. As a viewer I am opposite. I love to swim in the works I am seeing and can get any number of things from them for myself as well as seeing things in it from the artist’s point of view. Art fulfills many sides of life for me. A teacher as well as a student.
I am more keen on certain arts than others as a fan. I love anything eccentric. Eccentricity is a virtue and many arts people find strange (even for the art world) I seem to just adore. I love the guts that strange beauty reveals. I go for the internal effect it can have on me. Paintings I love for that special connection I have. It’s amazing to explore the works of other painters and view the world through their eyes. I love sculpture, again with the adoration of hand-crafting. I like works with a raw edge to them and am more drawn to work that doesn’t look mass-produced. I want to see the soul in it, feel the earth that brought it to life. I want to know its art. Not just a product being passed around the marketplace to end up in an eventual landfill, but art that reaches inward and converses with my conciseness. Something to be treasured. That idea is one of the reasons I love graphite artwork especially. In an image the talent of the artist can have it looking so precise, so real you could think it is a photograph. but in person you can see it’s graphite. The soul of it shows the life in the hand-craft hand in hand with the perfection of a realistic human eye view. It’s intensely beautiful. Art should be beautiful. The beauty should come from a place far away from superficial aesthetics and remind you that you are alive.
I suppose I feel the same about life. Careful when constructing to reach a certain balance or goal and free as the day is long to explore, adventure and experience anything that reminds me I am alive.
What is the most memorable response you have had with regards to your work?
All my favorite responses are from those who feel affected or connect to the work in a personal sense. For me knowing something has sparked something in someone or resonated with them in a personal way is like a handshake with the universe. An affirmation of life. I have had some not so great memorable responses too. Some have a difficult time seeing through a lens that isn’t mapped out for them. In those cases though, something had them looking at art they are not usually inclined to view so there is something guiding them toward it. I see that as a positive even if they are not able to touch that place at present and recognize it. They are on an open path.
Where can we find your work?
My artwork is always available directly through me on my website at:
With special suggestion to check out Galri-Montaj: http://galrimontajnouvel.com/2013/10/29/danielle-davis/ where I have recently exhibited series available exclusively for them, all of which I am very proud of.
I would like to take the time to thank Danielle for sharing with us a little about her life and art. Please stop by her links to see more of her brilliant work!