dara daniel


(text a screencap to) 408-909-5267 (909-JCOS)
FINEART@JCOSPLACE.COM // (call) 408-888-1500


Although my path as an artist has been a meandering one, I still feel a sense of continuity because it seems my propensity has always been to push my art to that line between representation and abstraction. More specifically, when looking at my recent work compared to the early figurative sculptures I find; although I embrace representing my subjects, my subjects are more about shapes, angles and curves and the abstract elements that create each form. Also, much like my sculptures my paintings are expressive, interpretive and archetypal portrayals of my subject matter and not entirely realistic.

Concerning my horse paintings, although I love discovering characteristics that make every horse unique, I am more interested in the horse as a metaphor. That is, each horse I paint is less about a specific horse and more about reflections of my lifelong impressions of the horse and Western culture and how I see horses as symbols of freedom, perseverance, and strength. I have always been fascinated by our relationship with the horse throughout time. To me, horses have an earthy quality and at the same time seem mystical. It is the spirit of the horse that I find exciting and inspirational, and what I want to capture in my paintings.

My bird paintings are similar to my horse paintings in that I have an interest in the bird in an allegorical sense and I love to romanticize them. I will often paint birds in an imagined environment of trees or sky to enhance the wild aspect of their being. Birds are also mystical symbols of freedom and often seem fantastical to me.

For all my paintings, regardless of the subject or medium, I simplify and idealize my compositions and arranging elements to accomplish visual balance. My color choices are inventive and either complementary or contrasting. I usually choose to exaggerate color to convey moods. While I paint, I rely on my innate sense of design and orchestrate all the available visual element: form, shape, line, and color. As each painting evolves, I become open to the accidents that happen and will often expose each layer of color here and there to give the viewer a sense of my process. As each painting becomes lively and emotive, I discover what I need to do to bring each one to completion. And although my best work often begins with a sound structure, I find my process to be intuitive and often playful much like my sculpting process of the past. I also love exploring textures and often apply generous layers of Acrylic mediums to the canvas using palette knives and sometimes incorporate mortar and sand with a binder for a gritty look. Sometimes I use molding paste to build up forms like horses or birds to achieve a sculptural relief effect.

Finally, it is important to me to paint paintings that have personality and delight the viewer's visual sense, and I have sincere gratitude to those who find my artwork evocative. I see my artwork appreciated by those that share a sense of connection and wonder to nature and love for our natural surroundings and the life within.