Dava Dahlgran


For how many years have you considered yourself an artist?

55 years! Wow, I hadn’t added that up before.

Tell us about your studio. In your home or other location? Messy or organized?

Definitely messy! I keep working to find open surfaces but it is two steps forward and three back when I have deadlines. The studio isn’t large but it is well planned. There is a place for everything. I just need to put things there. It is in my home and I had hoped that the 9-pane French door would put pressure on me to be tidy…

Describe the “perfect day” for you as a visual artist.

I am a night owl. I love to work very late because I feel more creative then. That means my day starts slowly and not very early. First I need my coffee and time for the paper before checking emails and following up on those. I am on two art boards and secretary/newsletter editor for one so there is always something to do. My day includes a couple walks with our dog if I am home. I teach colored pencil classes one afternoon a week at L’Atelier and love doing it. I also participate in a sketch group one afternoon. After dinner I relax in front of the TV for a while then get several hours in the studio to draw. Occasionally I lose all track of time and am surprised when the sun comes up. (I do try not to let that happen regularly!)

Do you find yourself limited by the materials with which you work?

I like some limits because it forces me to be creative and a bit adventurous. As a colored pencil artist I find there are new brands and new tools being developed all the time. I hear about them from other artists or groups and get excited to go to the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) Convention and International Exhibit each summer. Venders are very generous there. I have earned signature status in CPSA and also in the Explore This! mixed media show.

In what ways is your current exhibition “Hats, Hats, Hats, Shoes, Shoes, Shoes” different from other shows?

Gail Pratt and I are sharing this show. She works with manipulated photography and I am using colored pencil with leafing foil for my work. We have similar subjects and different ways of looking at them but our work compliments each other. We are both story-tellers at heart. It was so much fun working with her on this for the last year.