Fire in the Belly


I’m home from a five-day intensive workshop with Robert Burridge. The workshop, Abstract Acrylic Painting and Collage, was held in Bend and as Bob so aptly said: We will be covering five years of art school in five days. We sort of did, at least the Cliff’s Notes version.


Over the course of the five days, I took 22 pages of notes and Bob gave us multiple handouts. During the first two days of class when Bob was delivering oodles and oodles of general information, I felt conflicted with wanting to get going with painting.  We painted a bit on the first day, but I figured we would be painting more on the second day. Well, we did paint more, but still not all that much. I was torn between wanting to sit at the feet of Bob and absorb all that he was so generously sharing about his 22 years of daily painting, and wanting to get my hands dirty. I finally came to the conclusion that what Bob was giving us was invaluable information and I would have plenty of time to paint when I got home. Of course, we did paint during the week and more as the week went on, but the information I collected is priceless. I’ve already gone over my notes twice, circling, marking them up, and making notes for artists to investigate, books to read, and  changes I want to make in my studio. Did I mention that Bob is funny? Hilarious. I was continually writing down Bobisms –pithy little sayings. No topic was off limits, making it an entertaining and rich week. For sure you’ll want to check out his website: Robert Burridge Studio


I won’t share the details of what we learned because that’s Bob’s information to share. But I will skim the surface with a listing of some of the many topics he covered just to give you an idea of the magnitude of this class. The following list is in order and then again, in no particular order, because sometimes he circled back.


Risk-taking/working in series/learning to paint our own stuff/painting materials-traditional and irreverent/gessoes/paints/glues/varnishes/Citra-Solv/rubbing alcohol/paper/substrates/panels-mats-frames/copyright/color theory/developing concepts/structure-composition/warm-ups/texture/contrast/production/gray scales/value/drawing/figures/negative space painting/inspiration/artists & writers/landscape styles/naming and signing paintings/marketing/creating a body of work/galleries and festivals/themes/concepts/shape-size-color/pros & cons of making prints/commissions/photographing art work/inventory/resume-bios-artist statements/drip trees/pricing/shadows/travelling with art supplies.







We did paint and I’ll share photos from my week. In order and not in order. Bob gave us warm-up exercises and assignments during the first few days, then left us to do whatever we wanted while he circulated or worked on paintings himself. We could paint, we could watch him paint. It was all pretty great. One of my best painting classes ever – and I’ve had some great teachers.

We started with black and white then graduated to color.








I finished a few, and I’m still dabbling with several. Here’s a teeny tiny taste of the workI did during the week, some finished, some in process.







I was working on some new concepts and ideas and it was great fun to experiment.


And then it was time to go home.




Slightly Off Kilter: The Opening


My new show, Slightly Off Kilter, opened Friday night at Lunaria Gallery. I’m sharing the gallery show with Deborah Unger, who has carved figurative wood sculptures using paint and cloth to create quiet scenes, often with an underlying sense of unease.  My portion of the show includes vibrant, textural paintings using oil and cold wax to create layers of luminosity and interesting intersections of lines. (I also have a few new Funky Junkyard Birds for sale and the SOK Blocks I wrote about a couple weeks ago.)

Onward with the opening . . . .




The opening on Friday night was part of Silverton’s regular First Friday event and the gallery was filled with a steady stream of friends and art lovers.


















And from the street as the gallery was closing for the night.



Slightly Off Kilter: The Blocks

Blocks in Bucket and Stacked

Somewhere along the way in preparing for my upcoming show at Lunaria Gallery, Slightly Off Kilter, I had the idea to paint blocks in a style similar to a couple of the big pieces I was painting. And then I had the idea to paint little blocks, circles, and other wood tidbits, using the colors I was using in my paintings for the show. The result was a series of colorful blocks designed for adults to stack and display. I made ten sets (one will be on display showing how they blocks can be mixed and matched). Each set comes in a clear bucket with a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Here’s a little photo chronology of the evolution of the SOK Blocks.

IMG_1947 - Copy

IMG_1948 - Copy

IMG_1971 - Copy

IMG_1972 - Copy

Painted blocks in process - Copy

Block Pieces Together

SOK Blocks Stacked Outside - Copy

Blocks in Stack

Blocks in Bucket - Copy


The show, Slightly Off Kilter, opens Friday, August 2nd, with an artist reception from 7-9 pm; the show runs through September 2nd. Lunaria Gallery is located in downtown Silverton, Oregon.


Slightly Off Kilter: The Show



I’m one of the featured artists in a new show at Lunaria Gallery in Silverton, Oregon., opening Friday, August 2nd. The artist reception is part of Silverton’s First Friday event, and runs from 7-9 pm on August 2nd. The show, Slightly Off Kilter, features my art along with the art of Deborah Unger. Here’s a little blurb from each of us about the show:

Deborah Unger: Figurative wood sculptures using paint and cloth to create quiet scenes, often with an underlying sense of unease.

Dayna Collins: Vibrant, textural paintings using oil and cold wax to create layers of luminosity and interesting intersecections of lines.

In addition to Deborah’s wood sculptures and my oil and cold wax paintings, I’ll have a selection of Funky Junkyard Birds and something new: Slightly Off Kilter Blocks.

The show runs through September 2nd.

Junkin’ and Jivin’


I haven’t posted about a junking expedition in a long time and since I discovered three wonderful  vintage shops and I’m feeling generous, I’m going to share these little gems, all located east of Portland.


The Wade Creek House

This is actually a compound of buildings featuring antiques, collectibles, and vintage treasures. It is located at 664 NW Wade Street in Estacada. The owner, Dyan, knows my good friend Bobbie! Small world. Dyan just opened her store in June, so it is brand new and filled to the brim with good things.







Foxtrot Vintage

This is another relatively new shop and is located in downtown Gresham. Cute street, cute shop. The proprietor is Todd, who went to the same grade school as Howard (Harvey Scott, in case you are curious).





Vintage Station

Our final discovery was also in Gresham. This shop is run by Sonja, who used to be a vendor at Stars and currently has a booth at Monticello, two of my favorite antique malls in Portland.






Final Thoughts

It is definitely worth a drive east out of Portland. Beautiful scenery, nice shops. And yes, I did make a few purchases (including the pink chair in the first photo).

To Teach Or Not To Teach

Blog art hands

I love to teach. I love to make art. Sometimes I can’t seem to make the two jive. If I’m teaching, it seems to gobble up so much of my available art time: devising classes, making samples, then proposing them;  making lists of supplies for students to purchase, making lists of what I’ll provide and need to bring. Then there is the endless and constant promoting. I love providing a class packet with handouts, again time-consuming to create and assemble. When class time arrives, there are boxes of supplies to pack up and schlep to the site of the class, the reverse when the class is over, pack everything up, take it back to the studio and put it all away. Time. Such a valuable commodity.

Blog class 2

I took off all of 2012 from teaching. I didn’t teach a single class and I didn’t offer any sessions of The Artist’s Way. Instead, I focused on creating art. It paid off. I had a solo show in Silverton at Lunaria Gallery in August of last year, and as a result, was invited to join the gallery as a member. I also had a solo show at Portland’s Guardino Gallery in March of this year, a dream come true.

As 2013 approached, I started thinking about teaching again. I decided to offer a 12-session of The Artist’s Way and it filled immediately. I was approached by The Art Department in downtown Salem about teaching a couple of classes and I came up with two: Layers of Memory (a plaster and painting class) and Oil and Cold Wax: Abstracted Play. The plaster class sold out immediately with a waiting list; I offered it again a couple of months later and again it sold out (with another waiting list). The oil and cold wax didn’t sell out, but since teaching it, I received many e-mails from people asking me when I would be teaching it again. I was contacted by The Art Department about teaching classes again over the next couple of semesters. I paused. I needed to decide if teaching was where I wanted to put my focus. I always come away from my classes energized and full of satisfaction. It is gratifying to share techniques and nurture others on their creative journey. But something was causing me to hesitate.

Blog Dayna teaching

I chatted with my husband, a huge supporter of my art, whether  teaching or creating. His preference has always been for me to concentrate on making art, not teaching it, but if I chose to teach, he’d be right there schlepping boxes for me. His advice was to back away from teaching and focus on making art.

I made the decision not to teach any more classes this year. I’ll most likely offer a 12-week session of The Artist’s Way again at the beginning of 2014 as that is a different type of offering, less about teaching and more guiding, facilitating, and nurturing.

I sometimes have pangs of regret about my decision. When I see someone else teaching what I had proposed or what I have been teaching, it causes me to second guess my decision. That’s why I’m writing this blog post. I thought if I revisited my decision, then shared it publicly, it would remind me why I made the decision I did. Right now, I’m focusing on a show I have in August at Lunaria. I’ve made a proposal to a favorite venue in Portland about a possible show in the future. And I would love to have another show at Guardino sometime in the future. I’m always looking for new opportunities to share my work. But to create a body of work, to explore and grow and express myself through my art, it means devoting lots of time in the studio.

Blog stack of boards USE

Studio Vignettes


I’m working on a new series of paintings for an August show. which I’ll be sharing more about later. I’m also working on a large batch of new Funky Junkyard Birds, but they aren’t ready to make their appearance quite yet. So, in lieu of art I thought I would share some vignettes from my painting studio. I don’t want to share a grand view of my studio because that would give away too many peeks at my new art, but I can share some of my fun little collections.


















Painting From the Intuitive


For the past five years, I’ve made an annual pilgrimage to the Oregon College of Art and Craft to study and work with Patricia Wheeler. The class is called Painting From the Intuitive and it is five days of painting, plastering, sanding, painting, scratching, scritching, staining, and waxing on wood panels. Since first learning this process, I’ve gone on to add layers of oil and cold wax to the plastered and painted boards, but for the first week of June, it was all about the plaster and acrylic stains. Here’s my week in photos, ending with a stack of boards ready for me to begin the arduous task of adding layers and layers of oil and cold wax. Let the games begin.



















PS An added bonus is getting to spend time with my friends Stephanie Brockway and Jason Berlin. I met Stephanie is Pat’s class five years ago and our friendship took root. I met Jason last year in Pat’s class and we’ve been friends ever since. Pat’s class seems to be a good place to make friends.

Carnival of Landscapes: New Works


I’ve been working on a new series, Carnival of Landscapes. This new series of paintings have been done in oil and cold wax on wood panels (some have an underlayer of plaster) and reflect a vibrant, rich color palette. Seven have been finished and will be making their way to Lunaria Gallery in Silverton in time for First Friday, June 7th.


Open Valley
Open Valley


Against the Fields
Against the Fields


Silent Atmosphere
Silent Atmosphere


Unfinished Story
Unfinished Story




Visual Language
Visual Language


Silent Clouds
Silent Clouds



Funky Junkyard Birds: A New Flock

Latest Flock of Funky Junkyard Birds


I recently finished up a batch of my Funky Junkyard Birds, birds made from recycled, upcycled, and found objects. I haven’t made these birds for over a year, maybe longer, so it felt good to get back in the groove. Once I made the new flock, it got me clamoring to make more, so I spent a couple of days cutting out bird body parts and I can’t wait to dig in because I’ve got some great ideas to embellish and  make the next batch a bit more flamboyant.

I thought it might be fun to see some of the materials in my basement studio (where my metal, wood, and plaster work is done). From raw materials to finished art.


A Pile of Tins

Drawers and Drawers and Drawers of Metal Bits

The Bird Leg Store

A Box of Knobs

Possible Bird Parts

Bird Body Components


A sampling of my most recent Funky Junkyard Birds.







Katherine the Great