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 Dana Hooper  (20/21st century)

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Lived/Active: California/Maine      Known for: plein-air painting-historical structures

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Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

Dana Hooper, a fourth generation San Franciso 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 motif.

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."

Information courtesy of the artist.

Biography from William Lester Gallery:
Drawing, coloring, and painting have always been part of Dana Hooper’s life, so has being outdoors – when she tried plein air painting in the late 1980s she was hooked. She had taken a break from research physiology at the University of California, San Francisco to work for adventure outfitter, Patagonia, which sent her to open stores in Chamonix France and Freeport Maine.

Meeting her future husband in Maine, she stayed on and was hired to teach physiology lab at Bowdoin College.  She had just discovered the joys and trials of outdoor painting and met an art professor there who offered to critique her work.  The art professor recognized the San Francisco Bay Area influence in her painting---Hooper’s roots go back three generations in Marin County.

Returning to live in Marin County, Hooper noticed that her paintings frequently became records of disappearing historical structures and undeveloped land.  Looking back, many of the landscapes she painted have dramatically changed.

Hooper has joined other artists in providing paintings to art sales benefiting Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Marin Open Space, San Francisco Bay wetland protection and environmental education organizations.

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