At Long Last: Two Online Oil and Cold Wax Classes

It has been a long time in coming, but I am happy to announce that I was invited to teach an online oil and cold wax class and the platform aligns with how I envisioned I would like to teach if I ever chose to teach online. Classes are taught live through Zoom (with recordings available to watch for 60 days).

Martha at Winslow Art Center reached out to me about a month ago to see if I would be interested in teaching with their online art school. Here is a little about the Winslow Art Center:

Winslow Art Center, a young and innovative art school established in 2011, is the creation of its owner/director, Martha Jordan.  Originally founded as a brick-and-mortar art studio on Bainbridge Island, 5 miles across Puget Sound from Seattle, Martha’s vision was to offer small and intimate, live multi-day workshops and weekly art classes taught by world class professionals, and to supplement those classes in the Spring and Fall by offering overseas art tours to Italy led by the same instructors.  The school and tours were popular and expanding when the Covid pandemic brought the world, and the Center, to a halt.

Martha, with the help of her daughters Anne, Amy and Addie and web designer Kato D, visualized real-time online classes happening over Zoom, putting in long hours to learn the new technologies while convincing instructors and students that distance teaching online could be both viable and rewarding.  Martha’s dedication to helping others use the new online tools thrust upon us has been a major component of Winslow Art Center’s success.  The results have exceeded even Martha’s wildest expectations.  Today the Center offers nearly 80 online classes with instructors recognized as leaders in their chosen media.  Moreover, the Center has graduated from a regional to a truly international school with instructors and students participating from across the United States and around the world.

After digging into the website of the art center, I excitedly accepted the offer and we decided I would start by teaching an online version of my popular oil and cold wax class. My inaugural class is a teaser, An Intro to Oil and Cold Wax. This one is part of the art center’s popular Technique Takeaways, a 1-1/2 hour online class that offers a look at a particular art technique. My description of this intro class:

Painting with oil paint mixed with cold wax medium is like painting with whipped butter. It is soft and creamy, and when dry, it can be buffed to a beautiful sheen. In this 1-1/2 hour demo, Dayna will share about the many benefits of using cold wax medium with oil paint, share mixing ratios, methods for applying paint with putty and palette knives, how to speed up drying time, and offer a sampling of creative techniques. (There will be time for Q & A after the presentation.)

This mini class is scheduled for Friday, May 31, from 2-3:30 pm (Pacific time) with a cost of $40.

The main class I’m teaching, Wild and Free Abstracted Landscapes in Oil and Cold Wax, will be a complete class on all aspects of painting with oil and cold wax.  This class covers everything from mixing demonstrations, a variety of techniques, and discussions about color, value, composition, and design elements. In addition, there will be discussions and demos about how to make more powerful compositions, add interest to our pieces, and how know when a painting is done.

One of the great things about this platform besides my teaching live and being able to interact with students in real time, is a private message board within our online classroom where I can dialogue with students (and students with each other). Questions can be asked, work can be shared, and feed back can be requested. I am excited that I get to interact with students throughout the week.

This class is scheduled for Tuesdays, July 9-30, from 10:00 am -12:30 pm (Pacific time), with a cost of $295.

I may or may not show up in curlers!

To register, head to Winslow Art Center and choose one (or both) of my classes. Take time to browse the art center’s website; they have a FAQ page that is very helpful.

A New Gallery For Me!

I’m delighted to share the news that my art is in a new gallery (and in a new state). I was invited by the owner of Fogue Gallery, Kerry Gates, to display my art at this lovely Georgetown gallery, located about four miles south of downtown Seattle. Georgetown is a lively and funky neighborhood, with several art galleries, numerous restaurants, eclectic shops, and the Georgetown Trailer Mall.

Last month, Howard and I made the drive north to the gallery to hang my art on a beautiful, freshly painted white wall, where we hung five of my oil and cold wax paintings.

The second Saturday of every month is Georgetown’s Art Attack, so we got a room at the Georgetown Inn and attended our first art walk. What a blast!

I got to see my friend Kathleen, who has been a longtime artist at the gallery, and she was gracious enough to introduce me to several of the other artists showing their work in the gallery.

Our oldest daughter lives in Tacoma and she drove up to show her support and cheer me on.

What an evening.

A tiny peek at Georgetown in case you’ve never been . . .

And my biggest thanks goes to my husband, Howard, who does ALL of the behind the scenes work like wiring, inventory, cataloging, schlepping, hanging, adjusting lights, and color coordinating his clothes to match my art.

The next Georgetown Art Attack is Saturday, March 12. I’ll be there, so stop by and say hello.

On My Journey Home

“On My Journey Home,” 30×40 inches, mixed media (acrylic, collage, oil, and cold wax).

We laugh and we laugh and there is nothing else like it in the world.

A beautiful opportunity presented itself last June and after giving it some deep thought, I accepted a commission to create a painting in honor of a loved one who had passed.  My collector (and friend) knew she wanted the piece to include collage and paint, but was open to how I would incorporate the two. We met at my house a couple of times to look through photos, passports, music, and ephemera, which all represented an interesting and rich life. I got a better idea of what she was thinking and proposed that I include words throughout the process, along with an initial layer of collage. It was agreed that the words and collage would imbue the piece with the spirit of this person, but the next layers would be an abstract landscape to reflect the color and vibrancy of a life lost too soon.

After I had a chance to go through the stacks of materials, we met again to make a few more decisions, giving me clarity of which original documents I would use to energize the painting. I decided I would create two paintings alongside each other so my collector would have a choice between which piece resonated with her the most. I chose to work on cradled panels:  24×36 inches and 30×40 inches.

Over several months, the two boards were painted, writing added, a second layer of paint, bigger and bolder words added, and then a complete layer of collage, with just snippets of the underlying words peeking through.

The process of alternating layers of acrylic paint with words continued, and eventually I began to focus on the composition, moving toward an abstracted landscape. I was pleased, but not satisfied, so in a fit of knowing I wasn’t finished, I took both boards to the back yard and using an electric sander, sanded the surface of both paintings, revealing the various layers as I sanded. Snippets of words, paint, and even some of the earlier layers of collage were revealed.

All sanded and ready for oil and cold wax to be applied.
Sanding in process. Gulp.
Collage, acrylic paint, and words sanded back to reveal earlier layers.
Collage, acrylic paint, and writing, sanded back to reveal earlier layers.
Layers, layers, layers. Sanded back reveal some of those layers.

It was around this time I decided I would switch mediums and move to applying layers of oil paint mixed with cold wax. The vibrancy of oil and cold wax and the rich luminosity of the materials seemed like the right choice. I took the smaller of the two boards with me to Sitka Center for Art and Ecology in early September, where I was teaching a four-day workshop in oil and cold wax. I taught during the day, and then when the students went home for the night, I went into the studio and worked on the 24×36 inch piece, building layers of oil and cold wax.

“Trying So Hard to Listen,” after converting to oil and cold wax while at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.
Working on “Trying So Hard to Listen” while at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon Coast.
“Trying So Hard to Listen,” after converting to oil and cold wax.

When I got home, I continued to work on “Trying So Hard to Listen,” with more layers of oil and cold wax.

“Trying So Hard to Listen” in process after converting to oil and cold wax.

I completed the 24×36 inch piece on October 4, 2021, and titled it “Trying So Hard to Listen.”

“Trying So Hard to Listen,” 24×36 inches, mixed media (acrylic, collage, oil, and cold wax).

I had also started to add layers of oil and cold wax to the larger piece, “On My Journey Home.”

Early layers of oil and cold wax, “On My Journey Home.”
“On My Journey Home,” in progress.
Adding texture to “On My Journey Home.”
Work in progress.
Refining “On My Journey Home.”

The larger piece, 30×40 inches, was completed on my birthday, October 14, and I titled it “On My Journey Home.”

“On My Journey Home,” 30×40 inches, mixed media (acrylic, collage, oil, and cold wax).

My wonderful friend and collector decided she wanted both of the paintings and in mid December, the paintings were delivered and hung. It was such an honor to see them hanging, knowing that they each had multiple layers of images, words, and paint and reflected emotional energy, love, and memories of a life well lived.

“On My Journey Home,” in its place of honor above the fireplace.
“Trying So Hard to Listen,” in its bright, beautiful space.

A journey of discovering that I love people, I love myself, I love my secrets.

Painter’s Tape Abstract Art

In my last post, Little Paintings, I shared how I painted small oil and cold wax paintings on Arches Oil Paper by taping small squares of the paper to a large piece of newsprint or butcher paper. I briefly mentioned how I remove the tape . . . . this post is what I do with the tape that I removed.

Removing tape from Arches Oil Paper.

Over the past couple of years, I have saved and collected all of the pieces of tape I have removed from the little taped down paintings. (Do you think I’m a bit compulsive? Or obsessive?)

I am always amazed by the beautiful little abstract paintings on the pieces of tape, sometimes even wishing I could paint a larger painting using the pieces of tape as inspiration. . . . and then inspiration struck. What if I used the strips of tape to create an abstract painting? I like stripes, I like color, I like abstract, and I like recycling and reuse. I started auditioning the strips of tape. Before too long, I had a pleasing arrangement and composition and I started gluing down the strips.

For my first piece, I mounted the tape pieces onto a 4×10 inch cradled panel.

And hung it in our brightly colored kitchen at the House of Color in Astoria.

By then I was smitten so I forged ahead and taped down strips of color onto four 6×6-inch cradled panels.

“Profound Harmony,” 6×6 inches, oil and cold wax on white painter’s tape, mounted to cradled wood panel, by Dayna Collins.
“Deep Knowledge,” 6×6 inches, oil and cold wax on blue painter’s tape, mounted on cradled wood panel, by Dayna Collins.
“Changing Emotions” 6×6 inches, oil and cold wax on white painters tape, mounted on cradled wood panel, by Dayna Collins.
“Small Curiosities,” 6×6 inches, oil and cold wax on white painter’s tape, mounted on cradled wood panel, by Dayna Collins.

These four pieces have been added to my online shop and are $100 each (which includes shipping in the US).


#the100dayproject – The Power of a Frame

So what happened to those 100+pieces of art I created from January 31 through mid May? The ones I blogged about on March 21st at the half way point and the ones I celebrated on May 12th when I completed the project?

I turned some of them into cards so I can write thank you notes to people who purchase paintings.

But I had the most fun matting 44 of the paintings and collages I created. If you aren’t familiar with the project, artists were challenged to create a piece of art or do something creative for 100 days (my entire process was documented on Instagram at DaynaLovesArt). We were encouraged to investigate a particular medium, theme, or idea. My chosen project was to create art on scraps of the lowly brown paper bag. So, I ripped apart lots of paper bags that I had stashed away, and for 100 days I painted using acrylics or oil and cold wax, or I collaged using scraps of paper, or I combined a bit of paint and collage. I ended up with over 100 pieces of abstract art. I chose 44 of them to seal with varnish, then glued those pieces to a backer board, adhered a 45-degree beveled edge mat to frame the art, wrote the day I created the piece, signed my name, and put each piece in a clear bag. Whew. I’m tired just writing the various steps.

Then the more behind the scenes work began. After the pieces were ready, I wrote a description of how I created each piece, took photos, and turned the photos and text over to my IT/business manager/website guru specialist willing partner for posting in my Shop: 100 Day Project. But here’s the thing/the small print/the catch. I have been trying to grow my email list so I am shamelessly soliciting sign ups by announcing when this special shop will open to subscribers ahead of when I announce it more publicly. My June newsletter is about ready to launch, so I thought I would make a final push and give my friends, art lovers, curious followers, and even my family, the opportunity to sign up for my newsletter. The newsletter will share two things in particular about this project: 1) when the shop will open for purchasing these pieces, and 2) why I am pricing these pieces at $49 (which includes shipping). You might be thinking, “Another newsletter?!?” Yawn. I promise that my newsletters aren’t too long, I include content that isn’t shared on other social medium platforms (or at least different photos), and I won’t bombard you with lots of emails. If I have your interest at all, just click on the link, which will take you to my website where you can sign up. NEWSLETTER LINK

About now you are probably thinking, or at least I would be, enough with the words, show us some art. Here are some of the pieces that will be available for sale for $49.

Day 58 Oil and cold wax on brown paper bag, by Dayna Collins
Day 67 Acrylic and wax crayon on brown paper bag, by Dayna Collins
Day 62 Acrylic on brown paper bag, by Dayna Collins
Day 49 Acrylic and Stabilo pencil on brown paper bag, by Dayna Collins
Day 75 Acrylic and collage on brown paper bag, by Dayna Collins
Day 5.1 Acrylic on brown paper bag, by Dayna Collins
Day 15 Acrylic on brown paper bag, by Dayna Collins
Day 12 Acrylic and wax crayon on brown paper bag, by Dayna Collins

Each of these pieces is matted to fit an 8×10 (or larger) frame. In case you can’t envision what that would look like, I put different pieces in an 11×14 frame (with an 8×10 cutout), so you can see the power of a frame.

Day 32 Acrylic and wax crayon on brown paper bag, by Dayna Collins (frame not included)
Day 29 Acrylic on brown paper bag, by Dayna Collins (frame not included)
Day 48 Oil and cold wax on brown paper bag, by Dayna Collins (frame not included)
Day 28 Acrylic on brown paper bag, by Dayna Collins (frame not included)

This was a frame I got very inexpensively at Michael’s, so you can either use a nice frame or an inexpensive one. If you want a smaller profile, these mats will also fit nicely in a simple 8×10 frame.

Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate each of you who support me and my art journey.









Painting Frenzy


Frenzy might be an overstatement, but I have been spending more time in my studio and after a fairly long hiatus, I have returned to painting with oil and cold wax.

Since 2016, I have taught a four-day Abstracted Landscape class at Sitka for Art and Ecology on the Oregon Coast. Because of the pandemic, this year’s class, which was sold out and scheduled for August 21-24, was canceled (as were all classes at Sitka).

Somehow the idea of not teaching this year inspired me to jump back in to oil and cold wax after several months of painting with acrylics and working on a series of collages. It felt good to crack open the gallon of cold wax and whip up a satisfying mound of wax, begin choosing tubes of oil paint to mix, and dig out my R & F Pigment Sticks.

I had one deadline for a painting (so that was a BIG motivator to get into the studio and do some painting and I’ll share about that project when I can), but otherwise, I decided to pull out old boards that I had used for demos in my Sitka class last year. None of the pieces were completed, they just had fits and starts of paint and marks on them, all used to illustrate techniques and then set aside. It was nice to have something to respond to besides a plain, blank, board.

Technique demo board

I also revamped a few boards that had been completed paintings, but something was niggling at me and those pieces got a light sanding to rough up the surface, and then I started over. It was nice to erase an old painting, but know that there was that sense of history lurking below the surface.


[ pen-tuh-men-toh ]

noun, plural pen·ti·men·ti  [pen-tuh-men-tee] . Painting.

the presence or emergence of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed and painted over.


What has emerged during my extended painting sessions is the reoccurring theme of circles. I have always loved polka dots and circles and they have shown up in my work for years, but lately I have tipped over into obsession.




the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.


I’m using circles to excess and eventually I’ll reign myself in. Or not. In the meantime, here are several pieces in various stages of completion. All are on cradled wood substrates and they all have either Venetian plaster or limestone clay (the fancy name for joint compound) as an under layer. Other than that, some of the paint is from an earlier completed piece, or is from a demo at Sitka. Almost all of these have circles somewhere as a layer – in the plaster, buried in the paint, added on top of the paint, or some of the paint removed using a stencil to reveal paint, the circles serving as a window into an earlier layer.






In the Zone

It has been a long time since I painted with oil and cold wax. I’ve kept up with my daily acrylic painting in my visual journal and I have been steadfast in working on my Salvage Collages, but my oil paints and cold wax medium sat quietly on the shelves, waiting for my return. Deadlines are great motivators.

Guardino Gallery is hosting their 19th annual Little Things show and work is due this month. Earlier, I completed seven small abstract paintings, but I had hoped to have at least 12 for the show. Everything in the Little Things show needs to be 7×7 inches or smaller, so my pieces are all 5×5 inches, a fun size to paint and a size that keeps the price affordable.

Sunday turned out to be a quiet day and I had the house to myself, so I headed to my painting studio, quickly painted in my daily visual journal, then pulled out my gallon of cold wax and began choosing oil paint colors I wanted to work with. I lined up nine 5×5 boards; six of them had the beginnings of paintings and three I had deemed completed. All nine got a makeover. It felt great to work primarily in a limited palette of warm colors: pinks, magentas, reds, oranges . . . . with dabs, lines, and swaths of other colors to add contrast and variety.

“The Strange Dance of Movement Over Time,” oil and cold wax by Dayna J. Collins
“A Cloud of Tenderness,” oil and cold wax by Dayna J. Collins
“Secret Yearnings,” oil and cold wax by Dayna J. Collins
“The Memory of That Night,” oil and cold wax by Dayna J. Collins
“A Field of Feverish Energy,” oil and cold wax by Dayna J. Collins
“A Hot and Windless Summer Day,” oil and cold wax by Dayna J. Collins
“Words Have No Sound,” oil and cold wax by Dayna J. Collins
“Too Many Surprises,” oil and cold wax by Dayna J. Collins
“Hushed By the Wind,” oil and cold wax by Dayna J. Collins

These were three of the initial seven that made the cut:

“Whispered Words,” oil and cold wax by Dayna J. Collins
“State of Disorientation,” oil and cold wax by Dayna J. Collins
“The Pink Light of Dawn,” oil and cold wax by Dayna J. Collins


Little Things 19 opens Friday, November 29, 6-9 pm, at Guardino Gallery in Portland on NE 30th and Alberta.



Salem Poetry Festival

I was invited by the Salem Poetry Festival to paint while two poets read a series of their poems during the Salem Poetry Festival. Last Thursday, I arrived early at the Ike Box in downtown Salem to set up my table. I chose to bring four 11 x 14 canvases and two table easels, with the plan to paint two pieces as each poet read their poetry for about 30 minutes each.

The idea was that my painting would be in response to the poems being read. To prepare for the evening of painting, I repurposed four canvases I had bought at SCRAP, painting over someone’s previous painting to prepare it for my use; I painted two of the canvases black and two in hot pink and orange, giving me something to respond to other than a blank, white canvas.


Poet Carol Hottle kicked off the event and my first painting was in response to her reading a series of poems about a transformational experience she had, surviving a horrific auto accident.

My second painting was in response to a series of poems that reflected positive experiences, and I allowed myself to focus on the visual images Carol painted with her words.

When it was time for poet Mike Shuler to read, I listened as he read until I picked up on a poem about children joyfully playing along the banks of a river, and I couldn’t resist painting a bright abstracted landscape.

The second piece I painted was in response to Mike sharing how much he loves hiking in the Cascade Head area, a place that is near and dear to me because it is where Sitka Center For Art and Ecology is located (and where I taught two painting classes this summer).

The whole experience was positive and fun and once I started painting, I tuned out the room full of people and just focused on the flow of words and the flow of paint.  At the conclusion of the evening, I invited both poets to choose a painting to take with them.

Salem Poetry Festival
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Carol, Dayna, and Mike


Nature’s Rhythm: Featuring Barbara Bassett & Dayna Collins

Last November, I was invited by Barbara Bassett to do a show with her at her gallery, Barbara Basset Art Gallery, located at Pudding River Wine Cellars. I’ve long admired Barbara’s work and love the setting of her gallery, so I said yes.


We got together several months ago to plan for our show and come up with a title; we both liked Nature’s Rhythm, as it gave us freedom to create in our own styles.

I wrote a quick blurb about my pieces:

Color is an overriding theme in Dayna’s work. Whether she is painting abstract landscapes or creating more nonrepresentational work, color always finds its way into her paintings, mimicking or exaggerating nature’s wild palette. 

We hung our show last week with the help of Sean, the owner and winemaker at Pudding River Wine Cellars.

Barbara worked big, I did a series of 12×12 inch pieces.

We got the show hung quickly, and then we did a timed selfie.

Some of the pieces I will have in the show:

“The Thread of a Path,” plaster, oil, and cold wax, 12×12 inches.
“Spellbound By Thoughts,” plaster, oil, and cold wax, 12×12 inches.
“Grateful For the Silence of the River,” plaster, oil, and cold wax, 12×12 inches.
“A River of Gratitude,” plaster, oil, and cold wax, 12×12 inches.
“A Silver Curtain of Rain,” plaster, oil, and cold wax, 12×12 inches.
“The Hum of Mosquitoes,” plaster, oil, and cold wax, 12×12 inches.
“A Pulsing Wave of Gratitude,” plaster, oil, and cold wax, 12×12 inches.
“The Light Glimmers On,” plaster, oil, and cold wax, 12×12 inches.

The opening reception is Wednesday, May 22, 4:00 – 6:00 pm. The Pudding River Wine Cellars and Barbara Bassett Art Gallery are just a ten-minute drive from from Silverton and 15-minutes from Salem, through the beautiful countryside. The show will be up for several months, so if you can’t make the opening, take a short drive and visit this beautiful winery and gallery.

Uncorked Live: The Story of How I Came to be the Featured Artist

A few months ago I was contacted by Mary Lou Zeek, an artist and art force in Oregon, asking if I would be interested in being the featured artist for the Family Building Blocks annual fundraiser, Uncorked Live. I was familiar with Family Building Blocks and I knew they did excellent work in our community; their motto is: Keeping Children Safe and Families Together. I did a little research on their annual auction and in pretty short order told Mary Lou I was definitely interested and to please put me in contact with the Uncorked organizer.

I had been working on three new large paintings (30×40 inches) and I thought any one of them might be a possibility. I was also working on a fourth painting (36×36 inches), that was coming along. A date was set of April 1st to decide on a painting. Because I have lots of work hanging in my house, it was decided that a committee would come to my house and select a painting.

The group walked through my house: upstairs, main floor, and downstairs, looking at their options. They settled on three possibilities, and my husband lugged each of them outside so they could be viewed in the best light. The three options included:

“Morning Clouds Giving Way to Sunshine,” plaster, oil, and cold wax, 30×60 inches.


“It Smelled Like the End of Summer,” plaster, oil, and cold wax, 30×40 inches


“Against a Cloud Lit Night,” plaster, oil, and cold wax, 36×36 inches.

The ladies whittled it down to two selections and asked me to choose as they wanted me to select the one that best represented me. I chose Against A Cloud Lit Night because it was my most recent painting, but also because I had painted it with the auction in mind.

The painting was delivered to the photographer the first week of April, photographed and then returned to me to finish drying until the auction in mid May. Last week the painting was delivered to Zenith Vineyard, where the auction was being held.

The perks of being the featured artist for this prestigious event was having my art featured on the cover of the auction catalog and for my art to be on the wine labels of the bottles of wine, which were given to everyone in attendance. What I didn’t know was that my art would be etched onto a jeroboam of wine (a jeroboam is equivalent to six standard 750 ml bottles – who knew there was such a thing!). The etched label was gorgeous and even had texture.

Patrice Altenhofen, Executive Director of Family Building Blocks, holding the jeroboam of wine.

Uncorked Live was held last Saturday night, May 18th. It was a surreal evening; seeing my art on display, then being handed an auction catalog with my art featured on the front. Everyone in attendance received a bottle of red wine or sparkling chardonnay, both with my art on the label.

Two people asked for my autograph, first on the cover of the  catalog, and then later to sign a bottle of wine.

What a thrill.

I was anxious leading up to the actual auction, fearful that no one would bid on my piece. My painting was the fifth on the line up . . . .


. . . and it sold for $3,500. I later learned that two jeroboams of wine had sold for $850 each and one of the bottles was purchased by the owner of a vineyard who wanted it on display at her vineyard for the art rather than for the wine.

I was happy to have helped raise over $5,000 for this wonderful organization keeping children safe and families together.