I find inspiration in my personal experience and often use myself and my family to tell a narrative. Previously, I would always draw static portraits in front of a blank background, with the only intention of making the characters look visually pleasing. I did little planning and gave little thought to what I wanted to show and why. I believe that it is important to me to create something that I care about and do so in an engaging way.
In my art process, I like to take the time to brainstorm and compose my paintings, to bring out all the possibilities before starting to paint. I like to reference old photos and paintings from Caravaggio, Vermeer, Velasquez, and many more. Music also influences how I approach painting. Depending on the type of mood I want to achieve in my painting, I listen to music that matches. Although oil painting is my main choice of medium, I would like to explore other mediums such as watercolor and acrylic in the future.
Cultural identity is the core idea in my work. As a Filipino raised in America, I feel as though I have a disconnect with my Filipino roots, despite growing up in a Filipino household. Through this process of researching and creating these paintings, I can learn more about myself and what it means to be a Filipino American. Ultimately, I want to continue creating art that tells a narrative about myself and the things I care about.
Carolyn Danos is a Filipino American Artist, born and raised in Seattle, Washington. Carolyn started drawing people and objects around her at a young age. It was not until attending the University of Washington that she began oil painting and decided to make it her primary medium in addition to charcoal and graphite. Her traditional works are representational, focused on figure interactions and the story these characters portray. The paintings touch on themes of cultural identity, family bonds, and everyday life. She also enjoys creating digital paintings of people, movie and tv show characters, and original character design concepts.
"A cooking lesson," 2021. Oil on canvas. 30 x 40 in.
"Afternoon game of Sungka," 2021. Oil on canvas. 30 x 40 in.
JACOB LAWRENCE GALLERY
Art Building, Room 132 E Stevens Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105