Dana Shields’ paintings on display at Willow Art show

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on January 30, 2016

Making art. Teaching art. Developing art curricula. These are all things Menlo Park resident Dana Shields is passionate about.

“In my work, I strive to share my passion for joyous color, simple shapes, light and shadow, and bold compositions,” she said.  “As a teacher and a mother of a 5th grader, I have limited time to paint during the day, hence I paint the beauty I find in everyday objects available in our home.”

Dana’s oil paintings and giclee prints will be part of a private exhibition, Willow Art, to be held on Sunday, January 31, that also includes Kate Dutton-Gillett and Mel Day. Those interested in attending should contact John Donald at johnrdonald@mac.com.

Dana spent 20 years as a corporate identity designer and Creative Director for Fortune 500 companies. Following marriage and motherhood, she returned to her involvement with painting, which includes teaching her own cross-curricular art, design, science and innovation program to second graders in the Ravenswood School District.

“I started volunteering/teaching in the Ravenswood School district because of Carolyn Meyer,” said Dana. “She runs an all-volunteer organization called All Students Matter.

“I would not have had the opportunity to teach and develop my curriculum in the RSD if it wasn’t for Carolyn and for my classroom teacher Shelley Carluccio. Shelley was extremely encouraging and very open to my ideas. She collaborated with me a great deal in and outside of school.”

Returning to the topic of creating art, Dana explained that she finds many of what she thinks are her best works come when she is rushing and not thinking.

“I paint alla prima — wet on wet — wet paint on top of wet paint. I like it to be gobbly and joyous. And find myself getting completely covered in paint when I paint!”

Photo courtesy of Dana Shields

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

nick cann January 30, 2016 at 8:54 pm

My wife and I grew up in Menlo Park and graduated from Menlo Atherton High School in 1960. I have been doing art (commercial) since then. My first drawing friend was classmate, Jerry Garcia at Willow Elementary and then Green Oaks and Menlo Oaks. It was glorious to do art all these years. I am now working with kids in Napa, where we live. I see extraordinary talents at very young ages and know they are headed for something wonderful. Joy.
Your story is great! Congratulations. Nick

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