Artist Spotlight: Daggi Wallace

Ode to Joy, 11" x 20"
"Painting portraits to me is all about exploring our shared humanity, the connection we have to each other and our common Source. Each face tells a story and communicating this to others is my goal." ~Daggi Wallace

Californian artist, Daggi Wallace paints stories through her pastel portraits, focusing mainly on portraying the human condition and our connection to each other.  Her work is intended to provoke thoughts and emotions in the viewer, which she captures easily by lighting, design, color and subject.  Daggi works from photos she takes of her subjects, drawn to people that have interesting faces.  "My work always begins with a visual trigger that evokes a strong emotional response.  It could be an intense gaze or tilt of the head offering a glimpse of the subject's feelings that prompt me to paint a portrait," she explains.  
A Glimpse of Transparency, 12" x 12"

Daggi knew she was an artist the first time she walked into the studio of an oil painter in Berlin at the age of five.  "There were canvasses, paints and brushes stacked everywhere.  From then on, I was hooked, pretending to be a professional artist as I stood in my smock at my easel."  She was accustomed to drawing with pencil and charcoal, but color at first was intimidating.  Pastel, however, worked well for the stop and start mode she had to work in while her children were young and allowed for little cleanup.  

Even in pastel painting, quality materials are of utmost importance for creating good work with little frustration.  Daggi is careful to purchase the best paper and pastels she can, knowing the right surface makes all the difference.  Though brushes are not often used in pastel work, sometimes the underpainting requires brush work.  For Daggi's work on sanded paper, she uses older brushes because the surface is hard on them.  "I underpaint with either watercolor or I'll wet a layer of pastel with water or odorless turpenoid, using soft flat brushes most of the time.  I also use brushes at times to make corrections by brushing off an area of pastel.  Soft haired or bristle brushes work well, depending on the size of the area needing to be fixed," she shares about her process.  Though brushes or solvent can be used for blending, Daggi prefers the look of the pastel on its own.  "I try to keep my blending to a minimum because I like to see the strokes of the pastel.  Some skin types or skies do require blending, and I will use my fingers sparingly and lightly, but even better is using another pastel to do the blending by applying it with just the right amount of pressure on top of other layers."

Fabienne, 16" x 16"
Daggi has a natural instinct to give a voice to her subjects as seen in her portraits, choosing subjects she is passionate about.  In 2010 she took her passion further and started a non-profit project called "Moni's Kids", painting portraits of children in need and using the proceeds to deliver aid to the children portrayed. The children help with the portraits, by drawing in the backgrounds.  The first series of Haitian children was exhibited in Miami in November 2010.  To learn more about Moni's Kids, click here.

To see more of Daggi's work, you can visit her website or blog or view her work in person at some upcoming exhibits.  She will be showing at “Less is More, Much More” exhibition at the Blackboard Gallery in Camarillo, CA. The reception and award ceremony is March 1, 2014 from 4-6pm and the show runs through March 22nd. There are also Open Studios every first Saturday of each month at Studio Channel Islands Art Center where she maintains her studio as one of 40 artists-in-residence.  Daggi is also an exhibiting member with Manhattan Arts International.

Keep Painting,

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.