Danielle Roberts (b. 1991 Stockton, CA) is an artist from Gabriola Island, British Columbia. Drawing from personal experience her paintings are emulate a sense of place. By using light and shadow together, she creates a magical essence to her work.Roberts currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from originally and when did art first enter your life?
I was born in Stockton California but I grew up on Gabriola Island in British Columbia. I have always been obsessed with making, I don’t really remember a time when I wasn’t drawing, painting and doing collage. The gulf islands where I grew up are known for being a densely populated area of artists in Canada. There was definitely always a strong presence and importance put on the arts in the community. So I guess art in terms of making, experimenting and exploring has always been a part of my life because of where I grew up.
Has your work always taken on the style it currently embodies?
I think everything I’ve made over the years has led to how my work looks today. In that way I feel it has always had similar qualities but my current work is an accumulation of everything that I wanted it to be.
What’s a day in the studio like for you?
My studio day usually starts at around 11am. I bring coffee and breakfast to my studio. I like to have my morning coffee in front of my work so that I can look at what I had done the night before and plan what I want to do next. After that I put on my headphones and paint until around 7 or 8pm.
What’s next for you?
Right now I am preparing for my solo exhibition at Fredericks and Freiser which will open on January 26th.
From where do you draw inspiration?
Most of my inspiration comes from everyday life. I am inspired by relationships, people, spaces, and lighting at night. I love the light at dusk and dawn as well. The sort of feeling of that shift from day to night/night to day is definitely something I think about a lot while painting. I also draw a lot of inspiration from music. Ive always been pretty influenced by music and love seeing live bands.
Have you always painted in the style your work currently inhabits?
I think my work has always had a similar energy. When I look at my paintings from 10 years ago I definitely see connections and how it has developed into how I am working today.
What source material do you base your work off of?
For source material I mostly work from lived experience. A lot of it has to do with the feeling of a place. I usually make a drawing of combined ideas and work from that. If I feel particularly inspired by a specific place or person I will take photographs to refer to. The material is really just the people around me and loose representations of places I move through.
Does your work reference any Art Historical movements?
Some of the historical movements and artists that I’ve always admired are, New Objectivity, Expressionism and German Expressionism for artists like Munch and Kirchner, the Mission School and I’ve always loved Toulouse-Lautrec. Lately I have been thinking about Manet and Gregory Crewdson.
What is your process like? How do you begin a work?
I usually begin with a drawing. I like to combine different people, places and feelings from my experiences into new open ended narrative scenes. On canvas I begin with a solid color that will best represent the mood that I want to capture. I then translate the drawing onto the canvas. From there my process is very intuitive. I paint and repaint and move things around a lot. I often have a general idea of what the palette and composition will be but the painting itself transforms quite a bit from start to finish.
At the end of every interview, we like to ask the artist to recommend a friend whose work you love for us to interview next. Who would you suggest?
I would love to recommend my friends Victor Perez and Jeremy Lawson.