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Artist Spotlight: Danielle Sander

Name:  Danielle Sander

Hometown:  Jersey Shore

Age: 32

Fun fact about yourself:  I have a seven year old son and he looks exactly like me. He is my ‘mini me!’

When did you start creating your artwork?  Creativity runs on my mom’s side of my family.  My second cousin, who lives in Pittsburgh, was an art teacher in the public schools in Pittsburgh.  My other second cousin is the art teacher at the Williamsport High School.  I have been drawing since I was young and started out drawing the Disney movie characters.

What’s your favorite medium?  My first favorite medium is oil paints.  Last semester I took intro to 3D art and really enjoyed the class.  I never had the opportunity to work with clay or plaster for creating sculptures.  Since taking the 3D art class, sculpting is now my second favorite!

What your favorite piece you’ve created and why?  I love all my paintings, but my skeletons have to be my favorite so far this year.  The sketch for the painting was intended to be more dark and sad, but the higher quality of the paints and the brightness of the hues changed the meaning and added more of a hope representation to the painting.  I like to paint images explaining ideas, thoughts, and emotions.

What/who has inspired you the most and why?  I gravitate towards artists who have used artwork to cope with life, those artists who have used art as therapy.  My two favorite artists are Vincent van Gogh and Frida Kahlo.   In spite of trauma, these two artists were able persist and their artwork is still known and valued to this day.

Is there an emotion that you wish to evoke when viewers see your artwork?  The emotion depends on the painting.  I try to paint images that will leave the viewer thinking and wanting to have a discussion.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years in the art field?  I use art as a therapy.  Painting, sculpting and drawing help me to relax and release any issues that may be bothering me.  I want to work towards a master’s in art therapy.  Working as an art therapist and then creating my own artwork would be perfect.   Maybe do some traveling, as long as I can drive there because I don’t like to fly!

Do you try to incorporate your home into your art at all?  I have done many drawings and paintings of my son.  There are times my son and I will do drawing activities, but he is more gifted and creative in music.  So we spend most of our time singing and dancing!

What other artists do you look up to? Or who is your favorite artist(s)?  Vincent van Gogh and Frida Kahlo are my all time favorite artists.  I gravitate towards more of the older painters, like Rembrandt, Salvador Dali, Edvard Munch, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

How do your friends and family show you support?  My friends and family are very supportive, when it comes to my art.  I enjoy sharing photos with them as my paintings progress, and their kind words encourage me to keep going and improving my skills.

What kind of projects are you working on right now that we can look forward to checking out?  This semester I am focusing on painting memories.  I am also trying to express and explain ideas that have significant meaning not just in my own life, but possibly in the lives of others.

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