Congratulations to artist Danelle Spence, our latest Instagram winner! Based in Calgary, Alberta, Danelle is a full time psychologist by day and an abstract mixed media artist in her spare time: "Art provides me with a powerful outlet to channel the weight of others' experiences, (in my work as a Psychologist) allowing me to explore my own responses and feelings. It becomes a form of self-care, enabling me to maintain emotional balance."
Describe the type of art you create.
I am an Abstract Artist, however recently I’ve begun exploring other mediums such as photography and mixed media. I enjoy playing around with most art, working with as many mediums as I can: inks, plasters, acrylics, paper pieces, sand, resin - anything that can energize my creative expression. As long as it doesn’t involve using an actual paint brush (true story!).
Does where you’re from or where you currently live influence your work?
A little bit. A lot of the photos I take are from the bike rides I take in the rural areas around Calgary.
What’s your art background? Are you self taught or did you study art?
I am mostly self-taught. Supplemented by various weekend courses, art samplers, and online lessons. My passion for art and the creative process has always been an enduring aspect of my life. I have always seized every opportunity to explore art by enrolling in all available art classes throughout my early education. One notable experience was when I was asked to paint a wall mural in junior high school. I think it’s still there, 30 + years later?
What do you love about the mediums that you use?
The part that I love the most about the mediums I use is that they allow me to explore and experiment. Some mediums let me be super spontaneous and improvise. I'm always fooling around, going with the flow of whatever idea pops into my head. I am super curious to see how things turn out. I regularly have to paint over pieces or figure out little challenges along the way, but that's part of the fun for me.
When did you discover resin?
About 5 years ago when I noticed I was always gravitating towards the shiny resin pieces at local art galleries. I then got inspired to figure out how to do it myself.
How has resin impacted your artwork?
I particularly love the exploration capabilities of resin. It's the medium where I've had the most fun exploring and discovering new ideas. As an example, I use the resin runoff to create adorable little sculptures that I - again - resin onto small wood blocks. I'm totally in love with them all! They're just so cool and unique (in my opinion, at least!).
Can you provide a brief rundown of your process?
My art-making process is all about being free and spontaneous. When I dive into a big abstract piece, I usually have only a rough idea in mind: the 3 or 4 colors I want to start with and the canvas size. To keep things loose, I even use my non-dominant hand. This always works wonders for me, as it helps me get out of my logical/analytical brain a bit.
With a small paint roller, a water spray bottle, texturizing materials, and paper towels, I begin by adding a first layer. I let it dry, and then repeat this same process over and over until it looks and feels right to me. I usually end up with about 5-10 layers on each piece. If I find there’s a section that I absolutely love, I resist the urge to add more on top and instead try to preserve that particular spot. Nearer the end, I sometimes use paint pens to enhance the overall look. I end by adding varnish or resin for that extra shine.
In regards to my little art blocks...those are a whole different adventure. I love creating them by making dropping alcohol ink on Yupo paper. I then trim this paper up, collage them onto small wood blocks, and then add resin for that fantastic, glossy finish. Or I venture out to take some photos, then glue these on the same wood blocks and again...add my favorite resin.
Why do you want to make art? What motivates you to create?
Art provides me with a powerful outlet to channel the weight of others' experiences, (in my work as a Psychologist) allowing me to explore my own responses and feelings. It becomes a form of self-care, enabling me to maintain emotional balance.
Does art help you in other areas of your life?
I find that listening to and absorbing the emotional worlds of my clients often translates into my art. It becomes a way for me to sort through my own feelings and process the challenges of the day. The art-making process itself becomes a source of inspiration and emotional grounding.
What do you hope someone sees or feels when they look at your art?
My ultimate hope is that someone genuinely likes my art and feels a sense of joy when they see it. When I select art for my own personal purchase or to have in my home, I rely solely on the pure aesthetics of it. Therefore, if others find my pieces visually appealing, that's all I could ever ask for. Knowing that my art brings happiness to people is the most rewarding outcome I could have.
How do you define success as an artist? What does success look and feel like for you?
Defining success as an artist is highly personal. For me, success is primarily about personal satisfaction and fulfillment in the creative process itself. It means being able to express myself authentically, explore new ideas, and continuously grow as an artist. I would prioritize artistic integrity and the joy of creating over any recognition or commercial success any day.
Where do you sell your work?
My art has found a convenient market among my circle of friends and family. Word of mouth has been a powerful force in generating a significant number of commissions, which has been amazing.
I have also had the privilege of having some of my pieces displayed in show homes, coffee shops, and libraries, providing me exposure to broader audiences. These opportunities have been possible through an involvement with an art group, which curated small, intimate shows.
Social media has also helped extend the reach of my art. Although I am not savvy or overly knowledgeable on these marketing platforms, the support and appreciation I receive through these channels are truly appreciated and reinforce that I should keep doing it.
To see more of Danelle's work:
Congratulations on your win, Danelle!
Every month, to celebrate our community of artists, ArtResin will send out a 32 oz kit to two lucky people who have tagged us on Instagram, showing the work they've created with ArtResin.
Don't forget to tag YOUR ArtResin work with @art_resin on Instagram, and YOU could be our next winner!
ArtResin: Made For Artists, By Artists.