Skip to main content

About the Artist

                                               
                                                    DARA DODSON  -  BIO

     Born in the mountains of West Virginia,  Dara was privileged to have a large extended family and spent her summers on their farms running free and enjoying the beautiful countryside as well as animals both domestic and wild.  Her parents loved to travel and as a result, Dara got to visit over 30 states before entering middle school. Those experiences and sights fueled her desire to become and artist. "I wanted to paint everything, mountains, deserts, forest and oceans" she says. "At the age of five, I moved my bed away from the wall and "painted" a mural the entire length of my bedroom using crayons," recalls Dara.  "My mother however didn't agree it was beautiful so I had to scrub it all off.  I cried the entire time, thinking that I was destroying a masterpiece.  But then and there, I decided that I would become an artist and no one would want to destroy my work again."

     From that day on she drew on anything she could get her hands on, while asking her parents constantly for paints and brushes.  At the age of 10, they bought her a John Gnagy "Learn to Draw" kit and she got busy!  "My teachers usually laughed at the artwork all around the edges of my homework until I got into middle school, where they suggested I take art classes instead. I jumped at the opportunity and never looked back."

     At the age of 12, Dara's family moved to Kentucky.  When the new teachers recognized her devotion to art, they immediately put her into art classes.  Always drawing and painting kept her happy, and she was singled out for special tutoring and an art camp, winning awards often.  In the 10th grade, that training helped her earn her first Art Award outside of school.  "I was encouraged to enter the Bourbon County Art Show where I took first place with "Granny" a drawing of my maternal grandmother.  She still hangs on the wall in my home today."  By this time, Dara was selling her paintings to teachers, family, and friends on a regular basis.

     The family continued to travel throughout the country, Canada and Mexico where all the beautiful sights and the wonderful people moved Dara to focus on landscapes;  "the colors, shapes and atmosphere of our earth just begging to be painted, the variety was endless!"  Lacking the means to go to art school after graduation, Dara became largely self-taught but, eventually, was able to study under professional artists and attended as many workshops as she could.

     When she married the "love of her life" and began raising their four children, Dara painted murals professionally for offices, homes and schools in both Texas and Kentucky where they lived.  When they became "empty nesters" she returned to canvas work.

     "My work has always been strongly influenced by the Hudson River school of artists.  I loved the realistic, yet romantic quality of their paintings and wanted to be like them, but using more color." In 1989, they moved to Florida for her husband's work with the railroad.  The sun, sand and ocean were so beautiful that she was moved to start looking for ways to depict it using a different style of painting.

     "My inspiration became our earth's oceans; depicting the movement, emotions and moods of the water while aiming to bring attention to the life and beauty of the oceans and the need to keep them clean and healthy."

     "Finally, I discovered the new method I was searching for so now, using fluid acrylics, mixed media really, pouring and pushing the paint on the canvas to depict the movement, and then torching to bring out the hidden personality, I create semi-abstract paintings of the ocean, using beautiful blues and greens plus metallic.  I call them "Ocean Meditations."  This work is at once exciting, maddening, calming, and yet exhilarating and I'm happy to say they have become very popular.  I often hear comments such as 'I can feel my toes getting wet just looking at them', 'I can almost feel the ocean spray', and 'I want to dive right in!' "

     When her husband retired, they built a small home with a studio for her art.  "Now, I paint pretty much full time and we travel far and wide.  I also teach acrylic painting regularly, sharing with others the skill of painting as it was shared with me."

     Dara's studio is located in St Augustine, FL, the oldest city in the country, where the "old world" feel, the ocean, the history and beauty have drawn many artists to reside. A member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, the International Society of Acrylic Painters, and Acrylic Painters, USA, Dara shows her art regularly at both the St Augustine Art Association and the St Augustine Beach Art Studio and Gallery, as well as several other locations. She is represented by the OCEAN ART GALLERY in Flagler Beach, FL.  Her work hangs in homes and businesses across the nation.

   

   

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

IT'S HERE!  THE BIG ART SALE!!

 PLEASE LOOK THROUGH ALL OF THESE AND CHOOSE AS MANY AS YOU LIKE!
Sale prices will be in effect until all these paintings are gone!

        I will accept cash..or a credit card.  If local, pick or or delivery has no shipping charge.  Shipping for 11x14  or smaller should be no more than $8-$15 (USPS priority) depending on where you live. Larger paintings will be more.  I recently shipped an 18 x 24 painting and the shipping (UPS ground) charge was very reasonable ($35) REST ASSURED I WILL SEND THE CHEAPEST ( while still safe) WAY POSSIBLE!

   TO PURCHASE:  TEXT - 904-710-6721 = OR EMAIL : dodsondara@gmail.com


                                   THESE ARE ALL ORIGINAL PAINTINGS!





















DESIGNING A SERIES

     So I wanted to come up with a new series that I thought would be popular.  I decided they needed to be large and showy, but not too complicated.  Since we live in a tropical area, I came up with the idea of "Looking Up", literally!

     I took some pictures of palm trees from below and began painting them in a simplified form on canvas that is 36 x 48 ( huge!)  I love it!  I only have one done so far, but I know that they will be popular judging from comments I have received on social media.  Of course I have photos below of the first ones for you to see.

     I am not the first person to try this, but mine are different from other artists.  Mine are just a little bit more realistic, yet still fantastic and fun.  Larger than life, so to speak in a painting.  I focused in on the area at the top of the trunk where the palm fronds branch out making the structure very strong and making it easy to see …
I have just been given the opportunity to display my paintings in Jacksonville, Fl at the most upscale Antique Mall/Interior Design Center in North Florida.  Needless to say, I am thrilled!  I was given a wall on the main aisle to showcase my art.  They were particularly interested in large pieces of art and I was happy to comply.  It works well for me as my small pieces are in demand here in St. Augustine since tourists prefer something that will fit into their luggage.  But for art shows larger pieces are in order.  So this new venue is a great way for me to show and sell them after the art shows!

     I forgot my camera when the art was hung, so I will have to return to get the display on film for the blog.  Hopefully next week I can show it to you.

     I painted another large painting the other day.  I got the bug to start painting later in the evening and ended up going to bed at 4 am!  You ever do that?  Probably most artists do that from time to time.  I was on a roll, …