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Influence - Abstracts   |   Back To Home

In early abstracts, I looked to Mark Rothko and Kandinsky, whose works shaped my own abstract process. At that time, I renounced objective forms to express pure emotion on the canvas.

As my skills developed, I became less concerned with conveying a single emotion, and more with evolving and idea. This evolution allows for the idea to be perceived on many levels. The idea gains shades of meaning that can be experienced from many perspectives, from the sum of colors and lines to the more subtle energies that guided each brushstroke.

My experience in painting an abstract becomes a meditation more than trying to force a desired outcome. By opening a channel and listening with complete attention, each color and shape steers the next, creating a piece that mirrors my receptive, open mind.

I do not abandon subject, object or formal principles of the craft, but step aside and allow each graced moment to meet with skill to create something new. This confluence of intuition and artistry distill to create pieces that fit a variety of aesthetics. All works convey a strong artistic background while involving the viewer in their personal mythology, reflecting the emotions and archetypes that abide our everyday lives.


The work of Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Fernand Khnopff and the German Expressionism movement affected my early figurative work. These Expressionist painters combined a largely dark perspective on culture and society with the shadowy side of inner experience. Picasso's work drew me into finding beauty and aesthetic where the subject matter could be ugly or grim. These paintings taught me to command the attention of those who would normally keep their distance from emotionally charged ideas.

My figurative work creates emotional effects by engaging spiritual ideals and depicting the trials of self-transformation. Viewers can identify with the elements of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and the processes of Jungian psychology. The canvas becomes a crossroads of thought, leading the viewer through their own ideas of politics, gender, economics, sexuality and human rights.

The repetition of ornamental images symbolizes the patterns from which we all struggle. Genes, family, and culture influence the patterns that we all live by. Within the patterns is a dialogue between the mind and the body and the soul. Figures of the female, child and infant highlight perceived roles and encourage new identities.

© Dana Masters