Interview with Artist Dana Crossan
APM WordPress: Thank you for taking a moment to tell us about your work. Can you tell us about your background?
Dana: An 8yr old girl sits in her grandmother’s kitchen in the small town of Kennett, PA. She’s wearing red shorts and a white t-shirt with a purple Popsicle stain right under her chin. Her legs swing from the wooden bench as she leans both elbows on the table. Her grandmother appears with watercolor paper, paint, a couple paint brushes and a paper cup, half filled with water. The little girl grabs the paint brush and starts painting the rose that is in the center of the table in a long straight vase. While she’s painting she looks over and notices that her grandmothers painting of that same rose is much more realistic than hers. She looks at her painting. The pedals are blobs of red with an orange glow and the stem of the flower is green with hints of brown. The vase is absent from the painting. The girl painted an abstract rose.
24 years later, that little girl is now a little taller with bigger paint brushes. Throughout her time growing up her paintings became more and more abstract. This was a way for the girl to express the world created in her head without specifically saying anything. Colors were her words.
In November 2011, the girls father passed away. One night he appeared in her dream. When she awoke she was crying. She grabbed her sketch book and wrote down the dream. The next day she grabbed a big canvas and painted that dream. The dream inspired the painting: Was that a lollypop?, 60″ x 36″, Acrylic on canvas, 2012. (Click on the image above to see the artwork). He has appeared in her dreams five times but has only talked to her twice. She now has a series of five dream paintings. The second dream inspired: Birthday Card, 36″ x 60. Acrylic on canvas, 2012
She has painted dreams before, she has painted real life situations before and she has painted emotions before, however this dream series is the most meaningful. Colors say everything.
APM WordPress: Very interesting. Did your training come from yourself and your grandmother or have you studied art formally?
Dana: I was born in Wilmington, Delaware (1979). My grandmother enrolled me in art classes at the age of 8. I continued painting throughout my child hood. I received a B.A. in Painting from the University of Delaware in 2001 and an M.F.A in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2004. I have been in many group shows, from Savannah, Delaware, France, Hungry to New York and have had five solo shows in her career.
AMP WordPress: Who are some artists who inspire you?
Dana: I am inspired by many artist’s. Mark Rothko is of my highest admiration. Louise Nevelson is who I inspire to be. Robert Rauschenberg, Alexander Calder, Joseph Marioni, Clifford Still, and my grandmother, Ollie Crossan are just a few artist’s out of many who inspire my hand, mind and palette.
APM WordPress: Do you have any upcoming events you’d like to share with our readers?
Dana: I will be taking part in the centennial group show at the Delaware Art Museum from October 2012 to January 2013.