When you are in your dharma, you can create beautiful things, and artist Dana Mooney is living proof. The Vancouver local had been working in creative careers for years before stepping fully into the role of visual artist.
Four years later, Dana paints and creates in her Gastown studio every day. We asked her to talk about what inspires her to be an artist, and how she created the artwork that is featured on our latest aromaArt: Full Bloom.
When I was a kid, people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I would say ‘artist’: I just didn’t know how. For the longest time in my adult life, I didn’t believe I could actually support myself as a visual artist and pursued other careers like interior design and makeup artistry. A moment of realization came when I was working in retail and was offered the opportunity to show my art in the store.
Putting my work out into the world and seeing the positive response started me thinking “maybe people would like my art in their homes”, and gave me the motivation to commit to artmaking as my career. Now, four years later, I can’t imagine any other life for myself.
I love color and especially working in with color in a fluid, imperfect way. I started learning about pigments in the watercolor classes my mom enrolled me in as a kid. I still use the same techniques, even when I’m using other media like acrylic paint.
Before I start a new project, I’ll have a nugget of a feeling that I expand on it with color and brushstrokes. I’ll collect inspirational photos and build out a color palette that to me, represent the feeling I want to convey. It helps me get in the zone when I’m surrounded by images and materials that give off the vibe I want to create.
Part of what inspires me is watching how different color palettes connect to people. When I’m developing a color palette, distinct moods come to life depending on which tones I choose, and everyone’s reaction is unique. When I use deep navy and blues, the piece will attract a whole separate person than if I use whites and neutrals.
When you bring colors together, they relate to each other in special ways. Distinct moods come to life depending on which tones end up in your color palette, and each person reacts differently. If I use deep navy and blues, for example, the piece will attract a whole separate person than if I use whites and neutrals.
Observing this helps me understand how people experience color, and what tones and shades they choose for their space. It also enriches my understanding of the people around me and how they connect with their surroundings.
Having collaborated with Saje for three previous aromaArt Ultrasonic Diffusers, I was excited to celebrate my love of color with this latest limited edition unit. I was inspired by ideas of freshness, new life and the beauty of summer. I am drawn to all kinds of plant life, from cacti and desert plants to beautiful flowers.
For this project, I turned to one of my favourite flowers, peonies, for their richness and depth. Even though each bloom is full and robust, the petals have a delicate femininity that makes them feel balanced and charming.
A close relationship with nature is something I think comes naturally when you are fortunate to grow up in a place like Vancouver. Time near the water and in the trees is a really important part of how I spend time outside of my studio. I love to go on hikes, and love heading to lakes and ocean beaches even more.
There’s something very special about being beside water for me. My connection to nature is something that works its way into my art, bringing together two things that inspire me the most: the world around me and creating art.
A portion of every aromaArt purchased will support two organizations that provide youth art programs: Free Arts in Los Angeles and The Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation in Calgary. Thank you for supporting our goal to inspire creativity in the hearts and minds of our future generations.
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