Jodi Dann is an abstract artist living in Beavercreek, Oregon. Her paintings are full of interesting colors and imagery that take the viewer on incredible, imaginative journeys.
I enjoyed talking to Jodi about her art and artistic background.
Jason: How did you get your start in art?
Jodi Dann: About 17 years ago, my husband commented that if I didn’t want to work any longer it was fine with him. So, I accepted that offer and immediately dove into the arts. I tried a couple of terms in hand building ceramics, which I totally enjoyed. I met an artist/painter who introduced me to acrylics. I found that to be more fascinating and easier to lug around then clay. Which proved to be the right choice when it came to transferring your art around to set up at shows.
J: Are there other artists in your family?
JD: Not currently, but my mom as a young woman always sketched. At that time she used sketchbooks that were not acid free, so a lot of them had crumbled away but I was able to save many and slipped them into an archival folder. My dad made surfboards and belly boards in Redondo Beach California. I have great memories growing up in Southern California and watching him in his workshop. So, now if I am around resin it brings back memories. One of my Grandmothers was musical and played the banjo.
J: Did your family encourage your art?
JD: My family does encourage me to keep going with my art, and always brag about me, what can I say, hah! Even though they don’t always understand my style, they are true supporters. My husband had my studio built on our 2 acres just a short stroll from the house. Since I am so in love with Sedona, I chose the outside colors to resemble the red earth. It is my cozy little Sedona haven.
J: How much art related education do you have?
JD: Although I have taken classes and workshops, I am mainly self taught. I find that walking into my studio and spending lots of time at the easel are the best lessons. I use to think that I couldn’t be an artist without an art degree, but through the years I find it really doesn’t matter. Art comes from ones soul and heart, in my case “imagination”. I don’t strive to be a perfect painter, nor do I have the patience.
J: What is your medium?
JD: Acrylic, sometimes mixed.
J: Describe your style and subject matter.
JD: My style is abstract.
Of late I have had portals, arches and bridges appear without depicting a particular place. I like the viewer to have their own interpretation of where this faraway place may be.
J: How did you develop your style?
JD: Years ago I started painting still life and landscapes. I wasn’t connecting with any subject and I didn’t care to paint what I saw. I kept feeling like there was more to say with paint then what was already said. Make sense? I searched for local abstract workshops, but had no luck. So, I proceeded to just attack the canvas and experiment. I would say I started coming into my style about 4 years ago, but really have seen a stronger pattern of my direction in the last two years.
J: What do you feel is unique about your work?
JD: My art has a hazy or dreaminess feel that hopefully can give the viewer a sense of calmness. But…sometimes I like to throw in a punch of color to liven the piece.
J: When did you sell your first artwork?
J: How do you promote and expose your work to potential buyers?
JD: I have a website. Once a year I open my studio. Show my art locally in galleries, group shows and festivals. I am also, represented on 2 online galleries (one being Xanadu).
J: What do you feel has been your greatest challenge in selling your work?
JD: Being prepared with “enough cohesive” art and a nice portfolio for presentation.
J: What do you feel you’ve been most successful at in your art, and in your art business?
JD: I find I am more successful talking about my art when I am in my booth or studio. The help of having sales jobs in the past probably has helped me. Now I want to do less booth shows and concentrate on brick and mortar gallery presentation.
J: What other jobs have you held?
JD: I worked in sales and purchasing for 20 years in Restaurant Supplies and wholesale foods.
I worked part time at a gallery 2011-2014 I had so much fun working in this atmosphere and getting to know the artists. It was a busy gallery with its own 2 floor space connected to a great cafe. There were lots of customers and sales. I was so saddened to see the gallery close.
J: How much time do you spend in the studio on an average week?
JD: 15 hours, unless I am working toward a show, then that time increases.
J: Do you have a daily routine?
JD: Three times a week I like to work out at a fitness center in the mornings, so that leaves the afternoon for studio time. I enjoy painting in the afternoons and once the days get longer, my time will increase.
J: How much work do you produce per month on average?
JD: 2-4 paintings.
J: Who is your favorite artist from art history, and which of their works is your favorite?
JD: Georgia O’Keeffe fascinates me. I liked her independence as a woman and a painter. She painted what & how she wanted to paint. She surprised the public with her style. The simplicity of her life and paintings as well as her style I find intriguing. She was also humorous and very kind.
As for her paintings, there are several pieces that are my favorites: Ranchos Church, Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses, Pelvis series, and several of the Red Hills series. I would be satisfied with any of those “originals” for my wall.
J: What are your interests outside of your art?
JD: Family, gardening, walking the dog, traveling, visiting any desert, hiking, camping, reading, crocheting newborn baby caps for hospitals. In and around my studio I have a collection of animal bones which mostly have been found by my husband. We have a elk skull and antlers (attached) that he found in the wild. It is displayed on a deep terra-cotta painted wall in our entry of our home. I named it my Georgia O”Keeffe wall.