Daria talks about the Paintings of Landscape
How did this concept of working an actual jewel into a painting come to you?
I’ve been getting into painting again, and in particular the details of making natural paints and the origins of color. When I came across a few large-scale landscape stones that were too spectacular to stay in a drawer, the universe spoke… the idea to continue extending and painting the landscapes seemed like the next natural step.
I understand the paints are actually made of crushed gems? Tell us more!
Back in the “old days," before paints were industrially manufactured in the 1800s, artists had to crush their own stones/minerals/substances to mix with a binder to create the colors they wanted. I loved the idea of using actual earth to make my paints – a way to honor the amazingness of Nature in a different way than setting unusual gemstones in jewelry. All the pigments are from various crushed minerals and I also crushed gems like malachite, azurite, opal and amazonite to really bring the "jewelry” element in to the paint.
In the 3 years you worked on this idea, what was your process in choosing which stones would be part of the Landscape : Paintings and which didn’t make the cut?
I actually have two concepts for the Landscape: Paintings – the first is what I completed this year - stones that are removable from the painting to wear as a jewel. The second concept will feature translucent gems illuminated from behind.
Share at least one actual place you’ve visited that looked like one of the vistas you painted.
Death Valley, Iceland, Wyoming, Sun Valley Idaho, The Bahamas.
The logistics of attaching a wearable jewel to a painting allowing both to maintain their integrity whether together or apart must have been a challenge! Tell us about the fails before the solution.
It was definitely a challenge trying to figure out how to get the jewel on and off the painting a) without ruining the painting or b) destroying the illusion of the jewel disappearing into the landscape. At first I was going to put little silver pegs into the wood paneled paintings so that the jewel could hook on and off. In the end, strong rare earth magnets made the most sense and allowed both the painting and the jewel to maintain their integrity.
Who do you think will be the kind of client that purchases these pieces and what do you hope they’ll feel when they install the work in their home?
My jewels are each little pieces of art featuring the natural hand of Nature, so these paintings are an organic extension, to me. I am continually so fascinated by these incredible stones, that I think the person who buys the paintings will see the astonishing beauty and rarity in the stones as I do, and enjoy the marriage of the two mediums.
Looking back, what moment was the most fulfilling once the collection was completed?
It’s always exhilarating seeing concepts from my imagination come to life, but this is my largest body of work to date. Seeing how all eighty-eight jewels and six paintings looked together after so much work to find the right stones made me just burst! I love how each jewel is its own story, but together they present a narrative of dreamt up places based on my travels. The interaction between the four capsules actually transport you to a dreamy galaxy of fantastical, mythical worlds that I could - and do! - get lost in.
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