About the Artist
With a studio perched high on a mountainside overlooking the idyllic California coastline, Dasha Guilliam needn’t look far for artistic inspiration. Each day brings new skies, new sand, and new opportunities to pay homage to the ocean, natural world, and local community she so reveres.
In addition to honoring nature and expressing her love of the sea, each of Dasha’s pieces is designed to instill a strong emotional response in the viewer. Her art pieces are much more than paintings of the ocean. Each work is a snapshot of a specific time and place; a tangible, three dimensional sculpture that speaks to all the senses.
The colors used in Dasha’s work are known to produce a calming effect and even slow one’s heart rate, leading many surgery centers to commission her work. At galleries, it is not uncommon for visitors to ask to meditate in front of her art pieces, citing her work’s meditational qualities.
While at the Sea of Cortez, for example, Dasha collected corse particles of sand from the shore, later combining their texture with burnt oranges and deep blues to capture the passionate clash between strong desert heat and cool ocean waters. The piece now resides in the private vacation resort of a collector with sentimental ties to the area.
In her Caribbean collection, Dasha uses finer sands collected there to speak to the gentler currents which brought the particles ashore, combined with soft transitions from turquoise to white.
Adelman Fine Art represents Dasha Guilliam in San Diego, California.
Dasha Guilliam Interview:
AFA: Your work helps us reminisce about our own pleasant experiences at the beach. Tell us about your special connection to the sea.
Dasha: “It feeds us an undeniable energy through the universal language of nature. I was born in the south of Russia on a coast of black sea. The beach was my back yard and playground; my place of solace and inspiration. I have an inevitable connection with the water and not being able to be close to it makes me feel incomplete.”
AFA: What is your favorite local beach, and your favorite world beach?
Dasha: “I’m fortunate to have one of the most beautiful beaches as my back drop – In Crescent Bay, Laguna Beach, where I live. Every beach has its unique beauty, wave brakes, roar or whisper, its own dialect. I love the Caribbean for its texture and Madagascar for the moody wave breaks.”
AFA: Is your Russian heritage reflected in your work, either in your technical approach, work ethic or subject matter?
Dasha: “I always admired the work of Vasnezov. He is one of the great Russian impressionist painters, with an emphasis of the depiction of light and its changing qualities. It’s the root of my contemporary approach that I personally developed. I aim to capture the momentary, sensory effect of a scene. The objects make an impression on the eye in a fleeting instant. I prefer to instill the emotion in a view, rather then discuss the complexity of my painting process.”
AFA: What movie could you watch over and over and still love?
Dasha: “American Psycho” 🙂 Kidding! “Oblivion” is one of my recent picks, because it’s a sci-fi that will surprise you with its message of power of humanity.
AFA: What first inspired you to bring in the REAL elements of the sea into your work? Tell us about that experimental process.
Dasha: “I felt that painting a panorama of the sea would only speak to the visual senses, but incorporating the elements of nature gave me an opportunity to engage a tangible element, and the feeling we get when we stand by the water’s edge with the sand pushed under our feet.”
AFA: Can a collector bring you ‘elements’ (sand or crushed shells) that you will incorporate into a commission?
Dasha: “When I paint a commission piece for a collector they become my muse. I want my art to embrace and reflect the essence of the people and their beach. I’m not only including the sand from the beach, but also a sentimental element that makes the painting uniquely theirs. I have traveled to my clients’ beaches, where their paintings were inspired. I’ve also had my collectors bring me sand from their travels. As I create a painting for them I incorporate videos of the process and include them in a collaboration.”
AFA: Pick up the book closest to you, and go to page 25 line 4 and tell us what the sentence reads.
Dasha: “the buildings gave the impression of a great sweeping movement toward the sky, a yearning to pierce the heavens with their steeples. ” ~ Freedom and Destiny, by Pollo May
AFA: What drove your decision to exhibit your artwork in the Music As Muse show at Adelman Gallery?
Dasha: Visual art and music are the creative forces that are in synchrony. When combined they can unravel our deepest emotions and engage all senses. I was so exited that Adelman Fine Art gallery thought of colliding those two art forms to produce a unique experience for its collectors.