Danita - Fluffy bunny, mixed media artist & art doll maker.
I'm very proud to have been interviewed by Miriam Schulman on her "Artist chats" series, where we talk about my latest solo art show, "Among princesses and wolves", the motivation behind it and what makes me tick :)
But we also talk about my new upcoming online class, "Handcrafted Holidays" where I teamed up with another 9 artists. We will teach you how to create a variety of beautiful handmade gift ideas to share the handcrafted spirit in your gifts!
Click on the images and links to learn more about this super fun class, there's lots and lots of things to discover and we will have a great time learning from amazing artists!
La catrina, or the elegant woman, is a classical symbol that represents everything about "El Día de Muertos", the day of the dead.
Frida Kahlo was a great lover of death, and what a better opportunity to celebrate one of the most important Mexican traditions than dressing up Frida as a Catrina?!
So, I went ahead and made this beautifully hand crafted paperclay art doll. Her hand painted face is colorful and full of details, from the scribbled color marks to her deep, expressive eyes.
Her ceramic hands are paints with black gloves and she has a little skeleton friend, made from a traditional day of the dead children's toy.
Her dress is made with skull themed fabric matching her little friend's colors, and she is wearing black boots that I painted with white lace.
If you are a Frida lover, this amazing art doll will be perfect for your collection of original, one of a kind Danita art.
Lately my family and me have started collecting coloring books. We find pulling our crayolas and colored pencils while we fill in one of the book pages with colors very relaxing and a great family activity to bond with the kids.
In the beginning I was a little reluctant to color in them. After all, my artist's soul was not very comfortable with the fact that someone else was going to dictate what I created, that I had to conform to following the lines and that my end product was not really mine.
But then I started after I saw my daughter totally absorbed with one of her books and I joined in. Picking up the crayolas and smelling them brought me back to my childhood days, I felt happy, relaxed and ended up having a great afternoon bonding with her.
The next day my son joined us for another session with color pencils, and he had a blast! Seeing him put color on every frame, concentrated on choosing the perfect hue free of any inhibition that held him back made me realize that it's still a very creative activity, and a very meditative one too.
You just start moving the pencil to fill an area and every other thought goes away, and then you finish the space, contemplate for a moment the next color to use and then move on. Now I understand why the like doing it so much.
So, I decided to give creating coloring pages a go. I took a marker and started doodling on a piece of paper, with no particular intention on mind, just like I usually do when I want to warm up for painting, and Frida appeared. and then another, and another and another until I filled the page.
Now it's yours to color! Want to give it try? Just click on the image and save it to your computer. It's free to use and share as many times as you want as long as you don't modify it or try to gain any profit from it.
Enjoy! And remember to share with me what you did on My Facebook Page and on instagram with #coloringwithdanita
It had been some time since I made dolls, my art exhibition had me very busy painting and then summer vacation and looking after my kids came along, so I go on a pause during the summer months.
But then the urge to create is very strong, and I really can't stay too long without creating so once I got back from my mother's place I cleared my work table and started creating.
Fresh from the fairy tale theme, I created two beautiful dolls, Alice and Red riding Hood, along with a Frida doll and two more girls.
Little red riding hood is another doll part of my obsession with this beautiful fairy tale. I did a couple of paintings for my latest art exhibition, and then I set to make a doll with her as well, being one of my favorite fairy tales, she turned out really beautiful.
Maggie is a girl that loves reading, and will be incredibly happy if she could live on a library for the rest of her life.
Every doll I create is unique and inspired by true events and emotions in my life. Take her for instance, inspired by my daughter's love for books, and how much she enjoys visiting a library, getting lost on her own world when she picks up a book to read.
She is wearing a black and white outfit with a black choker necklace and lace sleeves In her dress.
Paola is a country girl with beautiful green eyes and a long mane of black hair, who love to take long walks in the meadow and talk to her animal friends.
She is wearing a handmade simple dress with blue and green colored patterns, red striped sleeves and a red rose in her hair.
Her hand sculpted face is made with paper clay, with the most beautiful green eyes in a sweet, sweet face to gaze upon. Everything is soft and sweet in her, she will be the perfect companion for that sweet soul in your life.
This is another of my very special, hand sculpted, handmade fabric Frida Dolls by Danita. This time, my favorite muse has a very beautiful pouty mouth, the loveliest melancholic eyes and a very colorful dress.
Her face is sculpted with paper clay to give her my famous sad eyes, big and full of expression. All you will want to do is cuddle her in your arms when you see her little face!
Alice in Wonderland is another of my most favorite stories in the whole world. The nonsensical world she lives in, and the colorful and lovely characters she interacts with on the books make up for a rich and beautiful landscape for stories to unfold while I play this doll.
Yes! I play with all the dolls I make! The need to create and bring my creations to life make me create these beautiful dolls that come to like with their handmade clothes, hand sculpted hands and faces and the most beautiful eyes that have a soul within them.
On June 8th, 2016, I had the honor to have my second solo exhibit at Gameros Manor, in my hometown, Chihuahua, Mexico.
The museum I showed is a beautiful Art Noveau mansion built in 1910 that now serves as the regional art museum of Chihuahua.
I was lucky enough to show my art on one of the main rooms in the second floor, just in front of impressive stairs and a massive stained window, and I felt just like the high society ladies that lived there during the times of the Mexican revolution, with fluffy dresses and elegant jewelry.
This exhibit was called "Among wolves and princesses", I got inspired by the original fairy tale stories from the Grimm brothers and many others.
I did extensive research and I learned a lot about the original stories, which have a much darker tone that the sugar coated versions that have been passed to us over time, and god forbid, the saccharine Disney versions.
I also had the opportunity to work on large format paintings, something I don't do very often, but it was super fun letting my darker side lurk around in the canvas, with new interpretations of the fairy tales I had read since I was a child.
Opening night came and I got to give a short and emotional speech that made me shed emotional tears, I was very happy to see all my family and friends gathered for such an special occasion.
My parents helped cut the ribbon for the official opening and everyone came in to enjoy my art... I was so nervous because I did not know how many people was going to attend outside my friends and what were they going to think.
It turned out to be a packed night! There was lots and lots of people and a queue formed outside to let people trough, and everyone was taking selfies with my paintings and me... It's such an unusual experience having complete strangers asking to get a picture with you!
My super sister decorated the pace and turned the food table into a little handmade forest with cupcakes, candy and moody lighting and decorations, she made sure everyone had an amazing experience there.
I really had a wonderful time, and I treasure the memories I made, the friends I met and the comments I got about my work. It really made me feel proud of being an artist and doing my part to make the world a better place.
The paintings will return to me soon and I will share the ones that have not been sold at the museum in case you are interested, they are a twist of my usual work with moodier colors and more mature themes, but I am sure you are going to love them.
Just take a look at the main piece, sleeping beauty, and you will know what I mean, bound by thorns, naked and vulnerable as she holds a rose in her hands, but her body hides a secret that only once you look you understand.
I'll let you know when they are back and prints and the originals are available for you to enjoy.
Many special thanks to my friend Marcela for getting me the show, and to the University of Chihuahua for providing the venue for my second show.
I have been very busy lately getting the last details of my online watercolor class ready to start on June 6th. I created a lot of paintings to teach you different watercolor techniques and styles and now I am ready to show you the paintings I used on the class. This time, everything is centered in Frida, one of my inspirations and one of the subjects I love to paint every time I have a chance, and working with this class was a lot of fun!
If you were on the fence about enrolling to the class because you were not sure what you could learn, keep scrolling! I’m sure that after you see all the paintings I made, you will sign up right away! ?
Frida is another very strong influence in my artistic life, and I never miss a chance to paint her whenever inspiration strikes me to channel her strong ways into my paintings. Now that I am into watercolors a lot, I decided it was time for yet another Frida portrait.
This is one of the times when I just wanted to see what I could do with the least amount of paint, and I tried to paint with water first, then saturate it with paint and see what happened.
The result is a beautiful and dreamy watercolor painting on paper by me, Danita.
I love the free flowing lines of this painting, and how I created an expressive face with very little brushstrokes.
This is a very dreamy portrait of my favorite artist, Frida, painted by me, Danita.
She is holding her burning heart in her hands and she is dressed in a blue dress on this watercolor painting. Instead of using very sharp and defined lines like other watercolors I have painted, I went for a washed down look and the result is a very surreal, ghostly image.
While I was preparing paintings for my online class “In love with Frida: A watercolor affair” I played with a lot of color and shapes to teach my students how magical watercolor paintings are.
I had a lot of fun with this painting, free flowing brushstrokes where color and shape are more important than details made a dreamy portrait of Frida by me, Danita.
This is one of the kind of paintings I create just for the joy of painting. I did not know where I was going with this, and then suddenly from all the colors, a flower vase and Frida appeared.
All I did was follow the will of the watercolor, and I’m so happy I did, because the painting that came from it really makes me smile with it’s simple color palette and bright looks.
She will look perfect on your favorite frame, looking at you hanging from your favorite wall.
Watercolor on unmounted paper
If there is someone who could overcome pain and turn it into art, is my favorite artist: Frida.
I love painting her on my own style, because I admire her spirit and resolution to make the best of circumstances, no matter how difficult or hard.
You will find her a lot of times visiting Danita Land, where we can be together, paint and love.
I have been practicing a lot for my upcoming online class, “In love with Frida: A Watercolor Affair” and I created a lot of watercolor paintings while I filmed the class.
Now, you can enjoy this beautiful watercolor with Frida in delicate hues of red and blue, flowers in her head and an intricate textured dress.
She will look beautiful when you place it on a frame, or maybe just propping her on your favorite shelf, looking after you with her sweet face.
“I hope the leaving is joyful; and I hope never to return.”
This painting came after darkness loomed over me, and I felt the awful dread and despair that deep depression paint into my life.
Even tough she is Frida, she is also me. After all, every artist paints itself.
I have been occupied with a lot of projects lately, and they are taking a good deal of time and energy from me, but that does not mean that I cannot get creative and work on some fun stuff like making jewelry for a bit, you can see the results of my impromptu jewelry making session on my store, under the handmade jewelry section.
I find the process very therapeutic and I get to create many beautiful works of original work in the process.... Because art is not just for walls.
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Lightfastness is a property of a pigment or paint that describes how resistant to fading it is when exposed to light. Light striking a painted surface can alter or break the chemical bonds of the pigment, causing the colors to bleach or change, in a process known as photodegradation