Exclusive with Rhonda Deland

We asked Rhonda Deland about her process and inspiration for her past and current pieces. We loved her point of view in her creative perspective.


1. What medium(s) to your work in? Why?

I mostly work in water-based mediums, acrylics and watercolors, because i work from home and I don't really want the toxic fumes of oil paints and materials that go along with oil painting around my family. That being said, I really love working with oils and hope to someday own my own separate studio where I can work with and dispose of oil paint materials properly.

2. What materials do you use?

I like to use Mission Gold and Sennelier watercolors and always Arches paper. For acrylics I love Golden and use as many of their mediums for texture as I can. I prefer to paint on cradled wood or wood panels because the texture of acrylic paint really comes through and dries nicely. I paint on canvas too but I need to use a lot more paint to get the texture I like. Linen is also great and something I'd like to use more of in the future.

3. What is your favorite tool? Give an example of how you use it.

I have 3 brushes that I always end up using the most. 1 filbert and 2 Bright brushes. they just feel most comfortable to me and get the strokes I need from them.

4. Briefly explain the process of creating one of your pieces.

First, I have these shapes and concepts in my head that I think about for a couple days. Then I try sketching some ideas on paper or I'll do a quick watercolor sketch of shapes and color before I commit to the real thing. If it's a commissioned piece, I always do smaller versions on paper first and get feedback for at least 1 or 2 more sets of versions before final approvals are made.

but sometimes....I just put paint to canvas and things turn out intuitively. These are my favorite types of painting sessions.

5. How did you decide on your signature? How do you create your signature?


I feel like I am still working through that process. I definitely see a style of brushstrokes, texture and color palettes that run through all my works. But, I love painting landscapes, botanicals, abstract shapes and even sometimes abstract birds. I am not sure I will ever stick to just one thing though. I'm too inspired by nature, which is such a vast subject, to narrow down painting one thing for the rest of my life.


6. What series of work do you have? Briefly describe them.

Most of my current series of works are landscapes that range from semi-realistic to more abstract.

The Layers series consist of 4 pieces that use layers of tissue paper under layers of acrylic paint to describe a certain part of earth: the ocean, the desert, the shore and the sky.

My Moonlit Series is a collection of abstract watercolor, acrylic and silver-leaf embellishments on arches paper to capture the horizon lines over the ocean under a moonlit sky. The silver acts as the reflection from a full moon's light through layers of clouds.

7. What is your favorite piece of art you ever made?

I really love this one piece I did when I first started painting. It was one of those intuitive painting sessions, where I just sat down and started making shapes and brush strokes. It's called Black Swan and I don't think I will ever sell it.

8. What are some new pieces you are creating? How did they begin?

Right now I'm working through ideas for a "plant-scape" collection that came from inspiration of floral headdresses and native floral adornments. Mostly from places like Hawaii where flower leis are abundant; and morphing it into a landscape composition on wood panels. My family history is connected to the islands of Hawaii so I've always been so inspired by their beauty since I traveled to them as a teenager.

9. How do you organize your inspiration for your pieces?

Pictures, books, watercolor sketches, color palettes and the right playlist. I like to be surrounded by all of it while I'm painting. With it all laid out around me I can reference it all when I need. but mostly I just feel its energy and use that to put it on canvas/board/paper.

10. Where do you see your art? Be specific, list a piece and where you imagine it in a space.

I hope to see my art in people's homes or local interior design shops. I feel like art is such an intimate and personal choice and if someone connects to my work, then I have just communicated with them on a deeper visual level. It's like I've been invited into people's homes and that's an honor.

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