Dayna J Collins

Willamette Valley Hotel + My Art = A Beautiful Art Gallery

Last month, I wrote about my art being in a boutique hotel, along the bank of the Willamette River, The Independence, and just a 15 minute drive from Salem. When I wrote that blog post, I had three pieces of art on display at the hotel. As of writing this post, I now have an additional ten pieces there, and I haven’t even seen them yet! We plan to pay another visit (and another overnight) later this summer after their restaurant reopens in July.

I am writing now about another hotel in the Trace Hotel family, where I also have art, The Dundee. This hotel is located in Dundee, Oregon, in the heart of Oregon’s famous Willamette Valley wine country, and about a 40 minute drive from Salem. My art was installed the end of 2019, and then 2020 arrived, bringing Covid with it, and everything shut down. As things reopened in 2021, we decided to visit The Dundee. We were invited to come stay at the hotel, so earlier this month we went to The Dundee for three nights. Oh my. The Dundee has a stylish vibe and touches of luxury. Photos tell it best.

When we walked into our suite, Howard disappeared down a long hallway……

Luxurious bathroom.

A kitchenette with a full refrigerator.

Okay, that’s a BIG bed.

My green! In chairs!

Marfa is more than a day trip.

Once we were settled in, we started exploring, looking for my nine pieces of art; it was a bit like a scavenger hunt. Three of the paintings were right outside the door of our room on the second floor of the first building.

This painting, “Singed by Fire and Light,” hung in Howard’s office for several years. He has missed it, and was thrilled to discover it was hanging right outside our room.

Jumping for joy in front of “An Unaccountable Exhilaration,” 44×66 inches, plaster, oil, and cold wax, by Dayna Collins.

“Fleeting Amazement,” 24×36 inches, acrylic on canvas, by Dayna Collins.

We continued our search. Right around the corner from our room, was the conference room, or Boardroom, and inside were three of my acrylic pieces.


Howard ponders this grouping of three acrylic paintings in the Boardroom at The Dundee.

When we were in the hallway, Jim, the hotel’s maintenance person, found out I had painted several of the paintings in the hotel and asked if I had by chance painted the pieces in the Boardroom. When I replied that I had, he said, “Come with me. I’ve studied those paintings, and I have questions for you.” In we went.

Jim offers insight about what he sees in these three paintings at The Dundee Hotel in the Boardroom.

Jim points out the “animals” he sees in these paintings.

Jim’s question was if I had intentionally placed animals in my paintings. I told him I hadn’t, but he insisted he saw a bee, a bird, a cat, and a COW!

We set out again on our mission to find my paintings, leaving the first building, passing a great courtyard between the two buildings, and then entering the second building.

Courtyard of The Dundee Hotel.

Building Two of The Dundee Hotel.

We spied the first painting on the landing between the first and second floors.

“Morning Clouds Giving Way to Sunshine,” is in the stairwell between the first and second floor at the Dundee Hotel.

Howard enjoys analyzing what he sees in a painting. This one, “Morning Clouds Giving Way to Sunshine,” 30×60 inches, plaster, oil and cold wax, by Dayna Collins, is in the private collection of The Dundee Hotel.

Detail of “Morning Clouds Giving Way to Sunshine,” plaster, oil, and cold wax, by Dayna Collins.

Detail of “Morning Clouds Giving Way to Sunshine,” plaster, oil, and cold wax, by Dayna Collins.

“The Emporium of Small Delights,” 36×48 inches, plaster, oil, and cold wax, is located at the end of a hallway on the second floor.

Visiting “A Stirring of Possibility,” 22×32 inches, framed acrylic on canvas.

We had a beautiful three nights in the heart of the Willamette Valley (surrounded by wineries if you are a lover of wine) and we are already looking forward to our next visit.

Bonus: Painting what would eventually become “Without Thought or Emotion,” in 2019, and is now hanging in The Boardroom at The Dundee.

#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.









Boutique Hotel + My Art = A Beautiful Collaboration

Reflection photo taken from our balcony, with the river in the background.

Back in the fall of 2019, I was invited to show my art in a new hotel in Independence, Oregon, a small town about 15 minutes from Salem and across the Willamette River. The hotel, The Independence, was along the river and wanted to feature local artists and makers. I painted three paintings with the hotel in mind and its location along the river.

Working on two of the pieces for The Independence Hotel.

Adding more layers to “Patterns Revealed Themselves.”

“It Smelled Like the End of Summer” drying on our upstairs bathtub.

The three paintings for the hotel, oil and cold wax over plaster, and 30×40 inches each, were delivered in November, 2019. A reception was planned for the end of March, 2020.

And then the pandemic hit and everything was cancelled.

Fast forward to May, 2021, and we were finally able to visit the hotel and see my art in place. The hotel invited us to stay, so last week we planned a two night staycation. It was lovely to only drive 15 minutes to reach our destination, and what a beautiful destination.

Arrival at The Independence Hotel.

The beautiful lobby.

The hotel lobby.

Local art in the lobby.

Into the elevator and down the hallway . . .

Shiny large elevator.

Arrival on the third floor.

Room 320.

A special treat and thank you for staying.

Our room with a view! Heavenly.

Local art above the bed.

The cool bathroom in our room.


Standing on our balcony, looking down the Willamette River toward Salem.

The view along the river walk.

As soon as we were settled, we took off to visit my art.

Seeing my painting for the first time: 2nd floor elevator lobby.

“Patterns Revealed Themselves,” 30×40 inches, oil and cold wax over plaster. This painting is for sale and available.

Howard exploring “Remnants of Morning Mist.”

Revisiting “Remnants of Morning Mist.”

“Remnants of Morning Mist,” 30×40 inches, oil and cold wax over plaster; located on the 4th floor elevator lobby. This painting is for sale and available.

Visiting “It Smelled Like the End of Summer,” 30×40 inches, oil and cold wax over plaster, located on the 3rd floor elevator lobby. This painting is for sale and available.

Howard taking photos of my painting.

The next thing we did was to grab kombuchas and head to the rooftop patio.

Afternoon kombucha on the rooftop patio.

Rooftop patio.

Relaxing on the rooftop patio.

Then we did a little exploring in downtown Independence.

A nice little antique store in downtown Independence.

Independence has a great used bookstore on Main Street.

Exploring downtown Independence.

Exploring Riverview Park in Independence.

What a lovely location and a beautiful hotel.

The view from our balcony.

In preparation for our visit, The Independence Hotel interviewed me and posted the interview on their blog. Here’s a LINK.

Coming next month, a visit to The Dundee Hotel in Dundee, Oregon, where I have nine pieces of art on display!

Color Can’t Wait


Toward the end of March, my friend Lucy Hewitt texted me and asked if she could paint my portrait. She had been doing portraits of herself, and decided she wanted to branch out and start painting her art friends. I told her, “Of course, I’d be honored.” She wanted to schedule a time to come to my house and take some photos of me painting . . . with the caveat that she wanted me to be wearing my overalls and have curlers in my hair. Her strange request was prompted by a photo I had posted of me in my curlers on Instagram on March 16.

A date was set for photos, I washed my hair and put in my curlers. Lucy took photos of me getting ready to paint, then some action shots of me working.

Lucy had me stand in front of one of my big boards in progress – and then had me choose a pair of prop glasses she had brought along – I chose PINK!

In preparation for our photo shoot, Lucy had me write out words and phrases that describe me and my art. I was in the middle of #the100dayproject where I was creating art on scraps of brown paper bags, so I wrote my list on a scrap of bag.

Fast forward to a week ago when Lucy delivered the painting. My response was an emotional one as Lucy had captured me so wonderfully in paint. She titled the painting Color Can’t Wait. It was a gorgeous oil painting and Lucy captured every detail – from my earrings, to my bracelet, from the bright stripes of the background, to the sassiness in my stance.

On the back of the painting was a magical history of the painting, my words, and a poem that Lucy wrote (using my list of words and painted on the front of my overalls). She also shared how she likened my portrait to the Caryatids (a stone carving of a draped female figure, used as a pillar to support the entablature of a Greek or Greek-style building). And she had written the word contrapposto (an asymmetrical arrangement of the human figure in which the line of the arms and shoulders contrasts with, while balancing, those of the hips and legs).

After Lucy had explained her inspiration and process, we called Howard in to see the portrait. His reaction was priceless; he laughed, saluted, then bowed down. As it should be.

When we asked Lucy if we could purchase the painting, she graciously consented. Howard and I both love having Color Can’t Wait in our Art House and have hung it in a place of honor.

#the100dayproject – COMPLETED

It is hard to believe that 100 days ago I embarked on a project where I committed to make a piece of art every day for 100 days. That’s a lot of days and a lot of art. I wrote about the project on Day 50, so if you want more info just click on the link.

Very first piece for #the100dayproject: acrylic painting on a scrap of brown paper bag.

In a nutshell, over the past 100 days I created art using scraps of brown paper bags. The mediums I used included oil and cold wax, acrylic paint, and collage. Some of the materials I used in the pieces: black and white photographs, Stabilo Woody Crayons, pencils, vintage ephemera, book scraps, paper frames, and charcoal. Techniques and designs included splatter painting, drawing, stripes, circles, stencils, scraping, tearing, gluing, squeegees, and mark-making.

Last piece for #the100dayproject: Acrylic painting on a scrap of a brown paper bag, with strips from discarded books, and a B&W photo found at a flea market.

What I learned during the past 100 days:

  • True art is in the doing and there is no shortcut for that.
  • I like to work fast to keep the inner critic quiet.
  • It was freeing to work on such an unimportant substrate as a brown paper bag.
  • I kept pushing myself to be bolder and to make more startling moves on my daily pieces.
  • It was amazing to create so many pieces, and although each piece was different, they created a unified body of work.
  • Some days it was this project that propelled me to go into my studio. Sometimes I stayed.
  • Several new ideas emerged from this project and I am letting them percolate for future projects.
  • A very exciting byproduct was how two of the paper pieces I created inspired bigger paintings!

Here is a random assortment of pieces from the second half of the project:

Right now I am celebrating the completion of the project . . . .

. . . . but I have some ideas brewing for moving forward with these pieces.

I have this wacky idea of offering some of these completed pieces for sale and giving first notice to those who are on my mailing list. Haven’t signed up yet? Want to? Here’s a LINK.

Turns of the Kaleidoscope: The Work

How did I manage to fill 48 feet of wall space with art? The answer: paint every day. I’ve posted about delivering my art and the opening on May 7th, and now it is time to present the 17 pieces of art that I painted for this show, Turns of the Kaleidoscope.

“The Long Quiet of the Afternoon,” 12×12 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $350, by Dayna Collins.

“Swaying in the Wind,” 12×12 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $350, by Dayna Collins. SOLD

“Storm of Emotions,” 12×12 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $350, by Dayna Collins.

“Spirit of Place,” 12×12 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $350, by Dayna Collins.

“Perfect Synchronization,” 12×12 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $350, by Dayna Collins.

“Vanishing Horizons,” 12×12 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $350, by Dayna Collins.

“A Rambling Journey,” 12×12 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $350, by Dayna Collins. SOLD

“A Mix of Mystery and Anticipation,” 12×12 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $350, by Dayna Collins.

“A Breath of Silence,” 18×24 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $970, by Dayna Collins.

“A Sense of Convergence,” 18×24 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $970, by Dayna Collins.

“A Quiver of Excitement,” 24×30 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $1,400, by Dayna Collins.

“An Accumulation of Accomplishments,” 24×30 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $1,400, by Dayna Collins.

“Turns of the Kaleidoscope,” 30×40 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $2,280, by Dayna Collins.

“Life’s Distractions and Enticements,” 36×48 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $3,285, by Dayna Collins.

“A River of Continuity,” 36×48 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $3,285, by Dayna Collins.

“Baffled Amazement,” 36×48 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $3,285, by Dayna Collins.

“A Series of Random Questions,” 30×60 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $3,420, by Dayna Collins.

And then a bonus 12×12 used to balance the display.

“Grateful For the Silence of the River,” 12×12 inches, oil and cold wax on plaster, $350, by Dayna Collins.


Turns of the Kaleidoscope: The Opening Reception

The entire show, pre-opening.

My show, Turns of the Kaleidoscope, officially opened on Friday night, May 7, from 5-8 pm. It was part of Salem’s First Friday Art Walk and the weather was perfect. With more people vaccinated and things slowly opening, there was a steady stream of friends and art lovers throughout the evening.

Masks down for a quick photo.

The evening was magical and I’m sharing a smattering of photos that give a peek into the celebration of the opening of my show (which runs through May 29th).

Arlene and Janet were first to arrive.

Melanie, gallery owner and master curator.

First visitors.

With Olivia. I was a high school mentor for Salem Art Association and Olivia was one of my students. She is now graduating from college!

Jo and Jim, fellow artists.

It was a lovely evening.

Paula and Jeff.

Social distancing in action.

Susan, Ruth, and Susan catch up.

Amy greeting visitors and Dave entering a drawing for a gift certificate.

Daughter Amy and Chris.

Longtime friends and fans of Pat Wheeler! Hi Pat.

Longtime friend Paul – I trained as a counselor under Paul many years ago.

It is fun to watch visitors interact with my art.

Alicia and her friend – Alicia’s hair matched a lot of my art!


A quiet moment to catch up.

A lively evening with a steady flow of visitors.

Family and three of the grandkid brood.

Orly and Dayna, kindred spirits. I love that we only live a short distance from each other . . . .

Art appreciator, who also happens to be my husband (and now my business manager).

Friends. Such a treat to finally be able to gather.

New art friends!

Timmy and Dayna!!

First Friday Art Walk at the end of the night.

Turns of the Kaleidoscope

Yesterday I dropped off 17 new plaster, oil, and cold wax paintings at Salem on the Edge for my show Turns of the Kaleidoscope. The pieces range in size from 12×12 inches, up to 30×60 inches, all created to be hung on 48 feet of wall space! When I began working on this series, I had trouble imagining filling that long, blank wall. But I did it with one painting to spare. (If you happen to see the show during the month of May, ask Melanie to see the 36×48 inch piece, Life’s Distractions and Enticements.)

Rather than blather about creating the pieces, I’m going to share my process with a series of photos, after all, this is a post about an art show. Here we go . . . .

Sealing the board with fluorescent paint.

Bucket of mud!

Applying plaster.

I love this stage of applying plaster.

Plaster being sealed.

A brand new gallon of Gamblin’s Cold Wax.

Early layers.

Working on a 12×12 inch piece.

Active studio.

Rolling wall comes in so handy.

New trend in makeup?

Painting the edges.

Works in progress.

Paying the price.

Sweet spot.

Doing a demo on Instagram about final coat of wax. (My IG: DaynaLovesArt)

Feedback and critique from Howard.

Peeling off the tape.

Sanding the backs of the boards.

Drying in the warm, dry air.

Choosing titles.

Signing paintings.

Preparing to photograph.

Photographing paintings in the perfect outdoor light.

Arrival with paintings!

The namesake piece, “Turns of the Kaleidoscope.”

Howard carries in “Baffled Amazement,” one of three 36×48 inch pieces.

Melanie sizing things up.

The beginning of the curating process by Melanie.

Arranging and rearranging . . . .

“Where does this go?”

Happy that the pieces are at the gallery and ready to be hung.


How I Title My Paintings

I am often asked how I come up with the titles for my paintings, so I’m going to spill the beans. Whenever I’m reading a beautifully written novel, I keep a piece of paper and a pen handy to jot down portions of sentences or phrases that resonate with how the words are put together. I do the same when I am reading poetry, just taking a few of the words, or “word fragments,” and scribbling them on a scrap of paper. I keep all of my pieces of paper gathered together on a clipboard, which I then refer to when it is time to name a painting. And I get to use one of my vintage clipboards!

It is a bit of a wonky system, and takes some maneuvering, but it has worked for me for many years and I enjoy the process of looking through my scribbles and putting together new combinations of words from the word fragments on my scraps of paper.

I have painted hundreds of paintings over the years, but here is a sampling of my work and the titles I have chosen.

“A Narrow Illumination,” plaster, oil, and cold wax on cradled birch panel, by Dayna J. Collins

“According to Sylvia Plath, the tulips are subtle, they seem to float,” plaster, oil, and cold wax on cradled birch panel, by Dayna J. Collins

“A Protective Charm,” acrylic on 300 lb. watercolor paper, by Dayna J. Collins

“A Ghostly Process of Waves,” oil and cold wax on cradled birch panel, by Dayna J. Collins

“Small Bursts of Illumination,” acrylic on wood panel, mounted in floating frame, by Dayna J. Collins

“Fallen Sun,” oil and cold wax on cradled birch panel, by Dayna J. Collins


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