Dana has been exhibiting her paintings and fiber arts since 1978 in various juried venues and to her continued amazement her works have been published in academic journals annually since 2013.
Dana was born in Long Beach, California when Disneyland was just a sparkle in Walt’s eye and the coastal landscape was dotted with oil wells. Dana was a gifted girl with dull brown hair, freckles, orthopedic shoes and a reported IQ of 153. Her life seemed destined for a degree in the sciences, while her heart was satisfied by illustrating what she saw through a microscope or drawing and labeling the various parts of a small frog after a very smelly dissection. She spent nights designing palaces with detailed floorplans and portraits of her cat. By twelve, and with the guidance of her maternal grandmother, she found herself painting on everything from recovered old teapots to seascapes over recycled prints of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. Fraught by pressure from a shrew of a mother whose shallow existence imposed a hierarchal import to one’s prettiness, by 15 Dana suffered from ulcers and was sewing bathing suits for a “head shop” in Seal Beach, California. Her parents left her an old green sofa and her twin bed on the driveway of her former home when a job transfer moved them north. By 21 she had dropped out of CSULB, worked as a telephone switchboard operator, typed invoices for a Japanese tractor company, driven a three door Mercedes limousine across the United States as a chauffeur (for a man who was selling smut and home alarms), designed dresses for the unpredictable Rafael Penedo’s Bip Bop boutique in Beverly Hills (where the stars shopped), had plastic surgery to remove acne scars, been arrested twice for smoking pot, met David Bowie on the stairway to the VIP room at the Rainbow Bar & Grill, escaped death by association and had been disowned and disinherited at least once. She also met and married her favorite man on this earth.
Dana followed her artistic passions in fashion design and art-to-wear snakeskin handbags throughout the 80’s until she decided that the art part of business selling to Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus had to be given a back seat to the sales and administration when she folded the business that she chides, “gave me my 15 minutes of fame and paid me $5 an hour!” The 80’s also brought about a decade of experimentation in paper making, where her sculptural work was noted by silver medal in an exhibition juried by SFMOMA’s John Caldwell, and other nationwide exhibits.
Dana has been known to work in micro-mosaics, fibers, mixed-mediums, acrylics and oils applied on any substrate and to create small curiosity boxes as well as traditional canvas. Community based projects have relied on her talents for stage and costume design, t shirt designs and construction and design of a maze to raise money for public schools.
But, actually, it wasn’t until she reached the age of 60 and completed her degree in interdisciplinary art did her thoughtful views and often humorous perspective of the human condition begin to reveal itself in her work as paintings where inanimate objects become surrogates for man’s dilemmas. Dana has recently completed a series which challenges shared reality aptly named “ [/life in the Matrix]” and is moving forward with a series dubbed “404: Page Not Found” which explores truth and propaganda through a surrealistic view. Married for 42 years with four grandchildren, she has a studio in her Lynnwood, Washington, surrounded by inspiration.
Dana Doran firstname.lastname@example.org