Dana Hooper, a fourth generation Bay Area native, is a self-taught artist. She paints on location in rural Marin and Sonoma counties in a style inspired by the Society of Six and Bay Area Figurative artists. In her larger studio paintings, Hooper reinterprets the plein air images in an expanded and often simplified way.
Employing brushes and palette knife, she paints the places, the animals, and the light with which she is deeply familiar and closely connected. Hooper takes an intuitive approach. She doesn’t do preliminary sketches, but prefers to spontaneously develop a convergence of paint, canvas, and spirit. “Risk-taking is crucial to keeping the work alive,” she says, “and as a means of discovering new ways to express myself in the pictures I make.
“Once I’m out on location, I look for something that opens the door, that gets the painting started, and I just go from there.
“The pictures speak for themselves,” Hooper says. “They come from where I’ve grown up, what I’ve lived through, and how I’ve felt about it. When a painting has personality, a certain energy, it feels complete.”