We have a theory that it's physically impossible to just walk by Daniella Willett-Rabin's work. Whether you're drawn to the intricate details, the technique, the colors or the sweet subject matter, you simply have to stop and take it in.
"I primarily work with acrylic paints although in the future I plan to transition into oil painting," Daniella says. "At the moment I love working with acrylic because of the quick dry time and the ability to paint over a section until I get it to my liking. Mistakes aren’t the end of the world with acrylic paint!"
Daniella is inspired by music, dance, architecture, and nature. She says she also gets inspired when she sees other people’s work that she finds beautiful and executed with talent. "This year I started to explore having certain areas of the paintings be a little more realistic," she says. "Then I blend those areas in with the more whimsical stylized painting I usually do."
Daniella says that because she paints so many small details and tiny dots, she goes through many very small 000 size paintbrushes. Her studio is simple: a corner of her house or her back yard.
Right now at Art Mecca of Charleston you can find Daniella's giclée canvas prints of Savannah and Charleston and some archival quality paper prints of various subjects.
Art Mecca artist Emma Cohen works in many mediums including watercolor, oil and chalk pastels and acrylic, but her favorite thing to do is mix mediums. These days she's very much into using handmade papers and paper flowers to add dimension to her work on top of paint or pastels.
"My favorite thing about mixed media artwork is the look and feel of texture it brings to the pieces," Emma says.. "I love that at times the handmade papers are what inspire the subject of the piece and at other times I find an image inspiring and the paper follows second. Either way the combination of color and texture and three dimensional pieces makes for unforgettable artwork that I find intriguing and original"
"I've found, purely by happenstance, that my most useful tool is a set of printmaking blades that I purchased in college for a class," she say. "I haven't used them for printmaking since then but I use them for every handmade paper piece I do. They have many different angels giving me more control and excellent grippy interchangeable handles too! I can cut the tricky, textured papers into fragile shapes with these tools and since I've discovered this, the art keeps coming!"
Emma says her process evolves an idea to a product by experimenting and adapting to what works and what doesn't.
"I truthfully find inspiration everywhere," she says. "I'm open to be inspired at all times, in all places. Women have been very inspiring to me during my latest collections. The diversity, strength and beauty found within women is impressive and colorful and commanding of attention. I try to capture even some of that power in my artwork. I'm also inspired by the different styles the past presents to us and the way women represented those unique styles in their hair and clothes and accessories."
Emma typically use papers as the hair for my women. "Lately I'm trying out focusing more on the fashion of the women rather than the faces of the women," she says. "Pulling back from the close-ups and zooming out to see the whole figure is a fun change of pace."
"My Lady In Red piece, hanging currently in Art Mecca is one of those pieces that I fell in love with the gold, heavily textured swirly paper and knew it had to be a glamorous coiffed hair-do. That paper inspired the retro, Marilyn looking bombshell portrayed in Lady In Red," Emma says.
"Two of my newer pieces, Nancy the Fancy and Bright Spot on a Grey Day, are smaller more fashion style paintings that both have handmade paper frocks on. They are simple in detail while being heavy in dimension and really capture the imaginary lifestyle of the ladies represented in each."
Thanks for giving us a look at your studio and your process, Emma!