Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Featured Artist - Dion Dior

It's that time again, another month has gone by and I'm featuring another artist in my continuing series that showcases talented, spectacular artists and allows you to get to know them better through the virtual interview they graciously participate in. This month I'm also doing a terrific giveaway so stay tuned, I'll tell you all about it and how to enter at the end of this post

(Please remember you can click on any picture to enlarge it!)

This month's amazingly talented artist is Dion Dior. I am lucky to count her as one of my new friends. We have been slowly getting to know one another over the blogosphere, reading one another's blogs, sending emails back and forth and each participating in an article I wrote for Featuring Magazine a few months ago. I have learned she is generous, kind and one of those special women who make you feel cherished just by talking with her.

Plein Air from her sister's garden (on vacation in Australia)
I started following Dion's blog many months ago, her art was different than most of the other artists I followed. It's the perfect blend of reality and the artist's eye. I've never really loved perfect art, the stuff that is so perfect you wonder if it's a photograph. I'm drawn to art that shows that there's an artist behind the creation, someone who sees the world a unique way and is willing to share that with us. Dion is one of those artists and I'm envious that she makes her art so elementally beautiful you want to study it.

I think Dion's genius is in her exquisite use of color. She uses the brightest, happiest colors in her art but more than her choice of color, she knows how to expertly blend and balance them to please the eye. That's actually REALLY hard to do and she makes it look effortless.
Jenn: How did you get started making art?

Page from Dion's sketchbook
in "The Sketchbook Project"
Dion: I've been making art since I could first pick up a pencil. I don't know what it was, but I always had a passion for art as a kid that just never went away. I never went anywhere without pencils and a sketchbook, even as a young child. Everyone thought I was so studious, but it was art that was driving me. I would draw, color, or paint every second I got. Even now my mother has my art framed and on display all over the house. The art from my early years is rather embarrassing, but it's all part of the journey.
Jenn: Do you sell your work, where?

Dion: I don't really sell my work. Most of the work I do is very personal and I never have a commercial perspective in mind when I create it. I'm not opposed to selling it, it's just not my focus right now. I get asked ALL the time, where I sell and can people buy prints. I may do it in the future, but for now I can't seem to find the time to put into it. I have been offered quite a number of comissions, some of which I've accepted, but most I turn down simply because I haven't had the time to really pour myself into the projects. All part of the future I suppose, however I do have a room full of art that would probably make a great exhibition.

Jenn: What is your process in creation? (do you like plein air best or use of a photograph, or your own imagination, or follow where the art supplies take you?)

Dion: I love plein air but I don't get time for it these days. I have two young children and I'm a full time stay-at-home mom right now so sitting for a while just sketching when I'm at the park is not something I can do. Most of my inspiration comes from my garden or around my house. I use magazines or the internet for reference, but mostly I play around with my subjects, apply my own flavor to colors and vibrancy. I love bold, colorful art that explodes with energy.
Jenn: What are your favorite artist's supplies?

Tulips painted using Twinkling H2O's
Dion: I use Twinkling H2O's mostly in my work. They are shimmering, luminescent watercolor paints that come in a staggering array of colors. They definitely lead the way for me and give my art a personality even I couldn't imagine. Luminarte, the makers of Twinkling H2O's has just come out with a new line of acrylic paint called "Silks". They are an acrylic version of Twinks and are very quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Another favorite of my is watersoluble mediums such as watercolor pencils and crayons. I use Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils and Neocolor II's a lot.

Jenn: How does making a spectacular piece make you feel?

Dion: The feeling I get when creating art is WHY I create. That rush in my belly, the racing of my heart every time I open a pot of paint is just perfection. I get my inspiration from nature because I seem to have an affinity with it. I see a garden through an artists eye, bursting with color and shimmer. My work never comes out like the real thing, but that's art. It's always my interpretation. I think I see color more vibrantly than it is in real life.

Jenn: What do you do with a less than steller piece, do you rework until you're happy?

Dion's interpretation of ocean waves.
Dion: Imperfect art is a fact of life I'm afraid. I never dicard imperfect art, I don't even spend a lot of time reworking it, I simply accept that it's not my best, I put it away and then start again. I love going back and looking at my disasters, it's great to see how far I've come, or what I could do better....which is a lot!! I'm never REALLY happy with any of my work. I'm always in pursuit of perfection, but know I'll never achieve it. Learning is a lifetime pursuit and I've lived long enough to know that everything waxes and wanes, especially my art.

Jenn: Is there anything else you'd like me to include about you or your art? (anything you'd like to elaborate on would be greatly helpful!)

Doodling with Color
Dion: I love what the interenet has done to enable sharing. The art community has benefited from this so much. Being able to share with, learn from, and befriend other artists has been the most enriching and inspiring thing that's ever happened to me.

Thank you Dion, for allowing me to interview you, I loved learning more about you, your process and your beautiful and unique art. I'm blessed to call you a friend, thank you for being so available and generous with your time. Before I get to the giveaway, though, I must show one more set of photos. Along with the three other courses Dion teaches, she also gives a class on Mandalas. Her class is called Wisdom Circles and is part of the 21 Secrets art class conglomerate where 21 talented artists each offer a class. Here are several spectacular examples of Dion's Mandalas. (click to enlarge)
Our Celebration Giveaway!

In celebration of Dion's classes (teaching Twinkling H2O's, Watercolor Pencils and the new Silks) and the launch of the new Silks acrylic glazes by Luminarte (Dion is their Premier Teacher of Silks!), we're doing a spectacular giveaway! Luminarte has generously donated (thank you Leslie) two introductory sets of Silks! Each set includes five colors, Olive Vine, Ginger Peach, Ice, Snapdragon and Gargantuan Green. If you'd like a chance to WIN your own set of these new amazing paints just leave a comment with this post. Please make SURE you leave your name and a way for me to contact you if you are the winner, don't just comment anonymously.

If you'd like to purchase Twinks (shimmering watercolor paints with mica) or Silks (shimmering acrylic paints with mica) just click on the product links in my sidebar, it'll take you directly to Luminarte's website, Dreaming In Color. The contest will run for one week and the winners will be chosen and announced next Tuesday the 29th of May. Make sure you check back here in a week just in case YOU were the lucky winner of an introductory set of Silks. I will be talking more about both Silks and Twinks in the weeks to come as I'm now taking the Silks course that Dion is giving. I've heard so many wonderful things about these products that I'm giddy to start playing. I just know they're gonna be fantastic and add such life to my artwork.

Dion's Links:
Blog
Flickr Feed
Workshop Info
Videos

I'll see you all soon for the APR wrap up and new theme announcement, tune in Saturday for that bunch of excitement. Hope to see your lovely artwork linked up this week!

Gosh, I need a cuppa hazelnut coffee. It's a serious addiction, people.
I'm out!






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69 comments:

  1. I just LOVE Dion's vibrant colours....I agree it is alot harder to do then it looks....my vibrant colours almost always turn out soft pink and green....LOL....I love her Journal covers, they are so very full of life...they make me want to grab a pencil and draw something fun....
    Happy Creating Ladies.

    blessings,
    Cindy♥

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  2. Another great interview Jenn. I've been following Dion for quite awhile and her posts are always a treat. I'd love to win some of those Silks to play with :).
    Stay inspired!

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  3. I absolutely LOVE all of Dion's artwork. Just looking at it inspires me. I would very much appreciate winning Luminarte's new Silks!!!

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  4. Dion's work is stunning, I'll check out her blog. I'd love to win the Luminare Silks, always eager to try something new.

    Darla

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  5. I love the intensity of the colors in Dion's work. And the silks and twinks add so much sparkle and shine. I just signed up for her twink class. I can't wait to play with the twinks!

    Julie Sievers

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  6. I enjoy both your site and Dion's. Lots of inspiration on both sites. I would love to win the Luminare Silks. I just wish they would assure me the type of art work Dion creates.

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  7. I am a follower of both your site and Dion's. Love them both. Thanks for the opportunity to win some of these amazing paints.
    Brenda A.

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  8. I love Dion's work and haven't tried the Silks so this is a great opportunity to say thanks for sharing and pick me pick me ;)

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  9. I've been reading Dion's blog for a while. I love her vibrant use of color and even more so, her attitude and wise words.
    I've managed to pick up some Twinks but have no Silks yet.
    Thanks for the opportunity!

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  10. Dion's art work is inspiring and beautiful and vibrant. I have taken the Mastering Twinks and the Watercolor Pencil Workshop she teaches and learned so much from her. The Silks paints look interesting.....

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  11. Love the work of Dion Dior. Have also taken a class . She is an inspirational artist.

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  12. I've been a long time follower of Dion's as well and just love her uninhibited use of color. She's been writing about the silks so much, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I win so I can try them! Terrie

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  13. Just love how those colors sparkle and shine! Keeping my fingers crossed.....

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  14. Just love how those colors sparkle and shine! Keeping my fingers crossed.....

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  15. Long-time reader of Dion's lovely journal. I fully plan on taking her Silks class just as soon as I can squeeze it in! Thanks!

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  16. Been following Dion's work for some time and am always in awe of her work.

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  17. Dion's artwork is gorgeous! bravo!

    I'd love to win the twinkling h20s!

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  18. I have been following Dion for about a year. Her work is so bright and colorful, almost like a photo. So real. I have found your blog from her site :)

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  19. Nice interview, Jenn! I really enjoyed getting to know a little bit about Dion. Her paintings are just amazing--bursting with color! I think were she to decide to sell her work, she would be most successful!

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  20. I discovered Dion a few months ago and her posts are always full of yummy colors! Now I am following you too!

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  21. I too, consider Dion a friend. Her work is fabulous and her heart is even more so. Thanks for showing her to the world. I've joined 21 Secrets via Dion's blog and haven't taken her class yet...but after the move (I'm moving)...I highly anticipate learning what I can from her talented self.

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  22. I am a fairly recent and enthusiastic fan of Dion Dior. Would love to win! I am blown away by the depth and shimmer of the colors. :)

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  23. I absolutly LOVE Dions's artwork so full of happiness in every inch of her paintings! I also am a big fan of the Twinks and Silks and would love an opportunity to win~ Thank you and have a beautiful day!

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  24. Love Dion's artwork, and signed up for your site after seeing your lovely work featured on Dion's blog. Would love a chance to win the Silk's, Thanks, Ann

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  25. I ordered some replacement Twinks and a couple of Silks to try out from Leslie at Luminarte a few months ago. In an subsequent phone call Leslie directed me to Dion's blog which totally blew me away! From Dion I discovered your gorgeous artwork too. The power of the Arty Internet knows no limits ;-) I love my new Silks and have a wishlist of more colours to buy in the future so would be overjoyed to receive some for free should I be the lucky pick. Thanks for the chance.

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  26. Great interview and giveaway! Thank you.

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  27. I have always loved and worked with color since I was young and definitely in the sixties...Love the Color in her work. I'm enjoying both Blogs.... just discovered you both through one of my online art groups.. Great giveaway please enter me in it

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  28. I have recently come to love Dion's work and want to learn much more about her process and the techniques she uses

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  29. Gorgeous work!!! I would love to play with the silks. The H2O's are beautiful, but I'm more of an acrylic girl so this is exciting!!

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  30. Hi Jenn ... I'm now going over to follow Dion Dior -- what lovely work! I'd love to have one tenth of her talent!!

    Much love, my friend,
    Ellen ♥ CardMonkey

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  31. Wonderful interview..so fabulous to meet Dion..and reading more about her! Her work is so gorgeous and visually stunning..and feels very meditative to me!
    Wonderful giveaway too..very generous!
    Victoria

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  32. I love Dion Dior's art- it is so colorful, happy and beautiful. I'm glad you interviewed her and would love to win some paint.
    Thank you!
    Colleayn Klaibourne
    qigongangel at yahoo.com

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  33. I love Dion's work, and have been greatly inspired by it. I took her twinks class earlier this year and am currently enrolled in the Silks class. I had never painted before, so this was a whole new thing for me. I can't really draw well yet, although I have surprised myself with some of the things I have done so far, but I think the beautiful rich color and shimmer of the paints makes everything look better. What a great chance to get to know Dion better. :)
    tm

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  34. I just love Dion's work. I check her blog every day. Twinkling H20's have long been some of my favorite paints, and I have introduced them to many friends and family who enjoy making art.
    I ahven't tried out the silks yet, but they sure are appealing.
    Diana Ramsey

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  35. I have been following Dion for a couple of months. I fell in love with the colors and shimmer of her work. It was a wonderful interview.

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  36. I discovered Dion's work a while back and just love her use of color. I have a bunch of Twinks and after seeing what she does with them - I know I have to start using them more. And Silks are seriously on my wishlist!! gbscreates@gmail.com

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  37. I just discovered Dion's work and think her work is amazing. I love the twinkling H20's and can only imagine how great the silks are. Thanks
    Jeannine
    Jneen92@yahoo.com

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  38. Thanks for introducing me to Dion. Her work is indeed study worthy! Have used Twinks for years and look forward to trying Silks. Thanks also for a chance to win.
    Mary
    mew.tilman@gmail.com

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  39. Found your blog by following the links in Julie's stencil blog hop. So glad I took the time. So many remarkable artists out there that I just don't find on my own. Became an immediate subscriber to your blog. Thanks for sharing. I saw the Silks at a store I was at yesterday. I will have to go back and purchase them now that I see what they can do. Of coarse a chance to win some is nice too!

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  40. Wow - just discovered your website through a blog hop from Dion Dior's and that was a hop from Julie Balazar's site. Love this internet! Gotta get some of those silks and h20 twinklings. And I love the addition of the black ink outlines on a lot of Dion's works..beautiful.

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  41. LOVE your art!! Just found you through Julie's blog hop. These twinkling paints look like so much fun!! (hi from Victoria! {I grew up in Parksville})

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  42. LOVE the way BOTH of you paint! Wish I could paint like that! I just discovered your blogs a couple months ago. I'd LOVE to win the super paints. I can DREAM, can't I??? :)

    Thanks,
    Grandma Nancy Sapp
    sapps2luv@yahoo.com

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  43. A friend just sent a link to your site via Dior's blog....You've done some really beautiful work with the new Silks! I'd love to win a set...thanks for the chance!
    Linda
    kaykat@bellsouth.net

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  44. A friend just sent a link to your site via Dior's blog....You've done some really beautiful work with the new Silks! I'd love to win a set...thanks for the chance!
    Linda
    kaykat@bellsouth.net

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  45. I've been a fan of Dion's work so this was great reading about her & her exciting art! Congratulations Dion on all your success! Thanks for the feature Jenn! And YES i would dearly LOVE to win a set of Silks!

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  46. Thanks for introducing me to a new artist and I am loving Dion's work! Great questions and I love the answers. Its kind of refreshing to me that Dion doesn't sell her work at this time..Sometimes i get this feeling-gotta sell, gotta sell! and here is someone that is just enjoying the experience for what it is. Love it.

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  47. I already subscribe to Dion's blog, I love the colour and vibrancy of her work. I'd love to try the Silks - winning them would help me feel less guilty about yet another art product in my house!
    Thanks for the blog

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  48. I have been watching Dions blog for some time because I LOVE twinkling H2O's. Her work is so gorgeous and her shadow work just makes everything pop out at you. I would love see a side by side comparison of Twinks and Silks but I think it would be hard to capture on camera. Thank you for a wonderful article on Dion.
    Tammy Mohr

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  49. Thanks for sharing Dion's work with us--it is an inspiration! I would love to win the silks giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win.

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  50. Dion's work is new to me - I find it breathtaking & am in awe of her use of colour. I would love to try working with Silks - thank you for the opportunity to win some.

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  51. I love Dion's work. It is brilliant.
    I have never used the Silks before, but I would love to win them and try my hand at them. Totally inspired by her work.

    Kim
    Imgirl

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  52. Love the vibrant colors and sparkle. I hope to win.
    Sue
    sumac at msn.om

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  53. such beautiful work, I will go now to see her blog, I'm not familiar with this brand but my gosh they are beautiful, they just glow, so rich and vibrant, what a wonderful giveaway!

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  54. I am so Inspired by her work and I am dying to try the Silks. I would love to be the recipient of this fabulous giveaway. I just posted the new challenge this week for the Artist's Play Room with Jenn and saw the giveaway with tomorrow being the last day. So here I am and then I saw that I already left a comment.
    Boy,it has been a busy week trying to work everything in.

    Cheers!
    Kim

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  55. Please put my name in the paint can! I'd love to try these.

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  56. Please include me for the giveaway, i'd love to try these out!

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  57. Oh wow. These sound like SO much fun. I'd love to win. It is probably the only way I'll ever be able to try them! However, if on the off chance I did win, please let me know on my blog and I will find a way to e-mail you. Sadly, my e-mail is not currently working, so sending me a message is like sending something into the ether.

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  58. My goodness, why wouldn't everyone sign in for this give=away. So many cool ideas to play with. Sign me up.

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  59. Oh my goodness I have been pining to try these and I'm a huge fan of Dion Diors beautiful work! Please put my name in-I hope I win!!! Thank you for doing this!

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  60. I follow Dion and love her work. Hope I'm not too late for the draw, been holed up with a tummy bug for two days. I would really, really love some of those paints.
    Von (VonnyK)

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  61. oh my, what a wonderful giveaway. I love Dion's art. Her colors are beautiful.

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  62. Great giveaway! Dion's art is so inspiring and colorful!

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  63. What a jem I have discovered here today in Dion's sparkling magical art. She has a new fan! I've heart a lot about these paints and am itching to try. Hope I win!!

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  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  65. Yummy, yummy colors!! love the interview and your site.

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  66. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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