“My paintings evolve from a dichotomous process of both serious planning and wanton improvisation. The composition, color palette, and surface texture are conceived in the carefully orchestrated first layer. Improvisation becomes a force during the process of constructing and deconstructing each subsequent layer. At this point, painting becomes discovery. It is a test for the potential of each medium and the contribution of each hue to lure the viewer into vision provoked thought.”
For Dana Blanchard, immersion in art has been lifelong. Her artistic potential was cultivated early with private tutoring as a child and progressed through university study. However, a doctorate degree and subsequent careers in higher education sequestered art into a personal endeavor. Then in 2002, Dana became an active career artist marketing her work primarily on the East Coast. In particular, both the Limner Gallery and Amsterdam Whitney Gallery in NYC have given her invaluable exposure through juried competitions and gallery invitations. Now, Dana is very pleased to join the vibrant art world of her new home, Texas.
Dana has participated in numerous artist exhibitions and juried shows, including the National Juried Exhibition, VAST, Denton, Texas; Artists Showcase, Texas Reds Festival, Bryan, Texas; Invitational Exhibition, Visual Arts Coalition of Dallas, Dallas, Texas; and Chelsea Global Competition, Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, NYC.
Her work has won regional and national awards, recently including: Kevin & Lynne Cagle Cox Purchase Award, VAST National Show; Sennelier/Savoir-Faire Award, VAST National Show, Denton, Texas; A People’s Choice Award, The Art Step, Bryan, Texas; John Alexander Memorial Award, VAST Show, Denton, Texas; First Place Award, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Dana Blanchard’s paintings are remembrances of passing moments, not photographic memories. Her luminous landscapes are distillations of familiar scenes. Her abstracts are the visual remnants of familiar experiences. As remembrances, they renew the awe of a lasting impression. They become a communal memory trace of our world; its essence suspended in color and light.
Dana strives for artwork that has a powerful first presence, yet encourages intimacy and contemplation. Through the interplay of dynamic forms and subtly complex color and surface, her paintings are both commanding and compelling.
Her process starts with a deliberate selection of surface type and texture. Her favorite surfaces are canvas and panel which offer a multitude of options when combined with varying texture selections. Gesso can be applied to make canvases exceptionally smooth or to mimic other surfaces such as fine linen. Panels may be left smooth or given a sandy or roughly textured surface for variation. The composition and basic color palette are as carefully planned and deliberately orchestrated in the first layer of paint.
For Dana improvisation becomes a force during the process of constructing and deconstructing each subsequent layer. At this point, painting is discovery. It is a continual test of each medium’s potential contribution, whether it is the translucent depth of an oil glaze or the rich velvet of an opaque gouache. The chosen color palette is also continually tested to create harmony with just the right touch of surprise and contradiction. All aspects of this artistic process should contribute to a work of refined maturity yet invigorating freshness.