Featured Artist Gallery
I am Diana D’Arcy Gorin, a mixed media artist based out of Southern California. You can find me on instagram @black.fox.stuff
I draw my inspiration from nature and the overwhelming peace it brings me.
Whether that nature is Yellowstone National Park, the Santa Monica Mountains, simply smelling a bouquet of flowers, surfing in the Pacific Ocean, or just sitting in my backyard- it makes no difference to me. I love it all and can’t get enough.
I grew up spending a lot of time at my farm in central Kentucky, so when I think of the place I imagine my work truly stemming from, my mind travels there. “Spring time in Kentucky” is how i describe my work. Just imagine endless fields of wildflowers, dogwood trees, and bucks. Does and fawns running around. It’s pretty magical (except the insane pollen and humidity).
I hope with my art, the viewer can feel a little better in that moment, and forget for just a second what a drag existence can be. In other words, that sense of “I don’t want to leave, this is where I’m meant to be right now” before returning to reality... Which is coincidentally how I feel out in the woods, cruising on a mountain bike or climbing a rock wall.
You’ll find in my art a lot of colorful portraits of people, sometimes with flowers, animals too (with flowers), pressed flowers, just always flowers. I like them! They are such a weird and fun addition to earth. We should have more.
My current favorite Artist Life product is the postcard sized watercolor booklet. It's perfect for small paintings around my current home, Newport Beach. I’ve always been fascinated with the interplay between architecture and flowers.. how it can just transform a doorway.. so I like to paint on the go. And having a handy dandy little watercolor pad is the way to do it!
Dani Van Liefde
Dani at her wheel in her outdoor studio rocking her favorite La Negra Split Leg Apron.
The process of building something that wasn't only interesting to look at but could be also used in everyday life was what initially drew me to ceramics. It wasn't until college that I learned how to throw on the wheel. That was the beginning of my long term relationship with clay.
What I love about pottery is that it keeps me constantly challenged and engaged. It is an incredibly complex art. Beyond understanding how to work with clay there are infinite possibilities in the world of glaze, color and decoration. Understanding what makes up these compounds is chemistry in its greatest form. A couple years ago I bought an old electric kiln and have been learning how to fire my own work. I cherish the autonomy it’s given me. I have control of my process from start to finish.
Dani in her element - the beginning process of throwing on her wheel in her studio.
I enjoy making clean, refined pieces with a minimalist style. What draws me to the "not obviously handmade" look is the challenge - I love the idea of making a mug that surprises people when they find out it's handmade. I express my creativity through the silhouette itself.
The more I create, the more eager I become to explore new styles.
The TAL team helps make my surface design exploration easier with their awesome sketchbooks, like the Large Sketchbook with blank pages. I especially love their La Negra Split Leg Apron for throwing. The slit makes it so easy to straddle the wheel and I can fit my trimming tools in the front pockets for easy access.
Pictured with BB is Gabe Whorley (AKA BB's son), co-owner of Sapphire Grill and The Pantry in the artist enclave of Laguna Beach, California. The Pantry offers postcards featuring BB's paintings.
"As long as I can remember, I have always been drawn to words, colors and music, and how they can create images and draw you in."
BB Crawford, The Accidental Artist
I grew up wanting to be a writer. I never dreamed I could become an artist. Or that being an artist was inside me waiting patiently to come out and play. I realized my dream as a writer of articles and columns for online publications. I even became a speaker and trainer for the US Military and companies. My company Emotional Self Sufficiency Training taught individuals how to reduce even resolve past traumas in their lives. My clients learn how to discover their authentic selves by unpacking their emotional baggage of the past. I love watching people find their inner joy, to live the lives they desired and deserved.
When Covid Stay at Home orders were given, the first thing I thought about was not seeing our young granddaughters, for no one knew how long it would be. I decided I would write a book about adventures we would take them on once the evil virus left the land. Then I had a crazy thought that I would draw pictures and paint them. I had 30-year-old paper, brushes, and paints that were from my mom’s craft room. I used an ice tray as my pallet and went for it. Not knowing at all what I was doing. I knew it was watercolors, so I added lots of water. Silly me!
The fascinating thing was everyone loved the book and couldn’t believe I did it! Neither could I! I was hooked, I wanted to learn as much as I could about watercolors, so YouTube became my university. I began painting cards of landscapes and florals for friends and family, wishing them well during this crazy time. Then I decided
to paint my dog Sarge. As I posted pictures of my cards and Sarge, people began asking me to paint them cards and paint their pets.
I was so surprised when people began asking to buy my art, I kiddingly told a friend that I guess I am now ‘BB The Accidental Artist’! She said, “That is the name of your new art company!”
Since May 2020, I have painted more than fifty commissioned dogs and cats, sold 100’s of original watercolor notecards and many larger paintings. Who knew at 59 and half years I would finally discover my inner artist? Since then, I have watched 1000’s of hours of the amazing artists on YouTube and countless hours behind the brushes. I also attended Plein Air Live and Watercolor Live, two amazing virtual conferences. Soaking up all I could and can to improve every day!
My husband and I live in our RV full time, people often ask where is your studio? I carved out a space inside and weather permitting I paint outside with all my watercolors and brushes on a long table, or I take my pochade box to paint Plein Air here in Newport Beach or up in Idyllwild depending where we’re staying. I typically paint 5-10 hours a day as it is my Zen Zone.
Here are a few things I have discovered during this new chapter in my life at now 61 and half years old is.
Be willing to suck at anything you desire to do, because eventually you won’t suck any more. With patience, good teachers, and tons of practice you will become better and better!
I decided that fateful day to go at it like a 5-year-old, no adult was allowed to be in the room with me. No criticism, just play like a 5-year-old in total abandonment and joy! I had an elderly man ask me at an art market ‘How old are you when you paint?’ I laughed as I said ‘I’m 5!’ He laughed and said ‘I so want to be a 5-year-old when I paint! I have gotten to around 8 years old.’ He said there was still too much of the inner critic there!
People often ask what do you hope to give your clients with your art? Just like everything I do in my life, to create JOY and be ‘Love in Action’! The interesting thing is every time we do an art show, people come into our booth, saying how much love and joy they feel while surrounded by my art! It doesn't matter if they buy a thing, my mission was accomplished.
The Artist Life products are awesome. The La Negra Split Leg Artist Apron is the Bomb Diggety! It allows me to paint without messing my clothes up, holds my paint cloth, brushes etc. Plus, I look so cool too. I am so loving the paint palette as the colors are richly pigmented yet I can create a very soft transparent look as well.
The Pocket Watercolor Sketch Book is awesome, I have almost filled it with florals. I love watercolor paper as it can handle wet on wet, and I paint on the front and back of the pages. The sketch book is great for playing with ideas, creating lil floral vignettes and more. I see myself not going anywhere without the Travel Watercolor Set, watercolor travel brush and my sketchbook in my bag. Also, I would never do plein air again without my La Negra Artist Apron it is so perfect for in my studio and my outdoor studio.
Do you want to be a Featured Artist? Keep reading....
Gallery and Supplies, LLC The Artist Life (T.A.L.) regularly features artists on their website, TheArtistLife.com. There is no charge to the artist and selection of Featured Artists are at the discretion of T.A.L.
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The Featured Artist shall include a photo(s) using T.A.L. product(s).
The Featured Artist shall include a quote about the T.A.L. product(s).
The T.A.L. Featured Artist shall include a biography, photos of the artist at work, and photos of the artist’s artwork. While T.A.L.'s intent is to empower artists and encourage the purchase of their artwork, as well as the purchase of T.A.L.’s products, T.A.L. reserves the option of not including these links if there is a conflict with competing products (art supplies). It is not prudent for T.A.L. to drive traffic to a competitor.
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