At Art Zealous, we’re obsessed with Canadian artist Danielle Krysa’s collages featuring old cut-out images mixed with splashy paint colors.
Like many greats, Danielle went to art school – but in her final weeks as a painting major her professor threw some serious shade and told her she should never paint again. With that advice, she graduated and bopped around Europe filling her art void with wanderlust. When Danielle returned to Canada, she became a graphic designer and worked in advertising – halting her art career for over a decade.
In 2009, she started an art blog, The Jealous Curator, where she truly found herself and her art voice. She writes about fabulous artists as well as books about self-doubt. During this time, she also started making her own art again – the lovely collages featured below. Is there anything she can’t do?
AZ chatted with Danielle and uncovered her many obsessions.
Art Zealous: Artistic background?
Danielle Krysa: I went to the University of Victoria and focused on painting and printmaking, with a minor in Art History. After I had graduated, I did that whole ‘traveling and working in Europe trying to find myself thing,’ but it turns out I wasn’t there. I came back to Canada and went to Sheridan College in Ontario for a post-grad in design.
DK: Summerland BC in the beautiful Okanagan Valley.
AZ: Coffee or Tea?
DK: COFFEE. I’m pretty sure I could survive on coffee alone.
AZ: Current obsession?
DK: Collage, neon pink, Queen Elizabeth … and of course a combo of the three!
AZ: Instagram handle?
AZ: First piece of art you ever collected?
DK: A gorgeous text piece (wood with inlaid wooden text that reads “KIND of”) by Vancouver artist Ben Skinner. I was interviewing him as the doors of The Cheaper Show opened in 2010. Five minutes into the show, while I was still talking to him, two of his three pieces sold right in front of us… so I cut the interview short and RAN to the purchase line (which was very long) but managed to get his final piece.
It’s hanging in my living room now, and I love it oh so very much.
AZ: If you could visit a beach anywhere in the world, which would you choose?
DK: Oh, that’s tough. I went to Bali in my 20s and it was one of the most magical places I’ve ever been. I also really love Maui so… how about Bali with a month long stopover in Hawaii!
AZ: What’s your creative process like mixing paint and collage images?
DK: I have a big wooden bowl full of cut out people – men, women, couples, small, big, just heads, no heads, royal family etc.
I put a bunch of paper out on my studio table and just start making marks with paint. Sometimes those strokes are thick like icing, and sometimes they’re wet ’n washy. Once they dry, I start playing around with which little people belong with which paint blob… if the story (aka the title) jumps immediately into my head then I know it’s a fit, but if nothing comes, well, that little cutout person moves onto the next paint stroke or gets put back in the bowl. And repeat.
AZ: Where do you collect old books to use for your collages?
DK: Small town thrift shops are the best! They always have so many weird books that are usually no more than a dollar each. FYI, old books are better than old magazines because the paper is thicker (easier to cut), and the ink never seems to run when applying glue. Knock on wood.
AZ: Currently working on?
DK: I’m curating two shows that are coming up early this summer – one in San Francisco and one in Toronto.
I would normally NEVER put my own work into the line-up, but I’m trying to push myself out of my comfort zone by actually showing my work to other human beings, so this is the route I’m taking.
AZ: What can we expect to see from you in the future?
DK: At the moment I cannot see an end to these narrative paint/found image pieces. I’ve never felt like that before, and it’s really exciting!