All in one: Artist Carolyn Daniele

"Hibiscus," by Carolyn Daniele. — Photo courtesy of Carolyn Daniele

She admits to being a very eclectic artist, and the demonstration of that can be viewed in the show opening today, Thursday, July 28, in the Pebble Gallery at Featherstone Center for the Arts. Carolyn Daniele, who has been teaching Watercolor for Cowards at Featherstone for six years, is revealing the work she has produced during the past year.

The title of the show, Restless Artist’s Syndrome, refers to Ms. Daniele’s range, the fact that she revels in a variety of styles and media. “I just want to try it all,” she says.

The approximately 40 pieces of art include photographs, oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings; landscapes, still life’s, portraits; representation and impressionistic art. She has noted that people often find it difficult to believe her collection of work was produced by one artist.

She studied watercolor, but in her 40s, during the time she and her husband Paul Daniele, a longtime Island home inspector, lived in Hawaii, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics. The couple returned to the Vineyard where Ms. Daniele made ceramic chickens “with attitude,” textured torsos, and raku bones and rattles.

“What I loved about ceramics was that the alchemy would take over,” Ms. Daniele says. “I felt very creative. Things happened when I used clay. I was working on a simple torso form and started using the clay from the recycling bin, slapping it on, and it gave the figure an effect like a tree trunk.”

She turned her talents to painting in all mediums when her hands developed difficulty with the wedging and mixing of the clay. “I keep cranking it out,” she says when asked about her motivation, “going for the next surprise.”

Her painting “Happy Dog,” a bold straight-on image of a dog’s face formed by shapes of color, provided one of those unexpected moments: “I had no idea how, but the color opened up in the eye on the right, giving it a triangle of light. How did that happen?”

In her mission statement, Ms. Daniele notes: “I love the magic that happens with watercolor…just like clay it can surprise you when the results are far different from the beginning idea,” and continues, “I love the smooth play of oils on the canvas; much like clay, oils can be molded into form.”

She recently began exploring collage, which she describes as allowing a flow and freedom of process. “Ripping and pasting, using unusual materials such as tree wound compound, I go to a deeper place, layers of dreams mix with politics, feminism, world tragedy, and humor.”

Credit is also given to the benefits of being a teacher. “If I didn’t teach I might get lazy,” she says. “I constantly have to learn. If I get asked, ‘How do I paint waves?’ I have to know…There’s a saying, ‘If you want to learn to do something, teach it.'”

Opening reception for Restless Artist’s Syndrome, art by Carolyn Daniele at Featherstone Center for the Arts is Thursday, July 28, from 4 to 6 pm. The show runs through July 31 in the Pebble Gallery at Featherstone Center for the Arts, off Barnes Rd. Oak Bluffs. 508-693-1850.