Featured Artist


Delna Dastur

Delna Dastur
Sample Work

The combination of an undergraduate degree in Art History and a graduate degree in oil painting has enriched my life as an artist and a teacher. Art is my passion and I use my skills in both fi elds to teach a class called ‘Exploring Abstraction’ to students at the Art League and the Smithsonian.
In addition to art, Nature has played an important role in my life. I like to garden. I dig, I prune. I feelthe need to magnify Nature on my canvases. Climate change and its effect on plant life has been of concern to me over the years and recurs as a theme in my work. Construction and its irresponsible disposal of waste affects our landscape. Nature is disregarded and its benefits ignored. The battle for supremacy is on, the flower supreme on one canvas, the city in another. The obvious is unappealing to me. I work in layers, one upon the other, allowing details to weave their way in and out. Line plays a major role, sometimes dominating and powerful, outlining tall structures. At other times it is delicate, barely a presence, gliding around the disappearing flowers. Texture adds to the fray - gels, molding paste and corrugated cardboard create the necessary chaos. Color is considered carefully, its distribution balanced. It can be moody, it can be calm. Woodblocks and rubber stamps weave additional layers and intricacy into the paintings. Experimentation with diff erent materials is a constant. Contrasts intrigue me, movement is necessary. Choices have to be made. Decisions abound. The viewer must be drawn in, his senses stimulated. Nothing is apparent, disclosureis subtle, and the meaning has to be discovered.

Art has been my passion ever since I was a young girl in Mumbai, India. I continued my interest upon arriving in the United States and it led to my graduating from Wellesley College with a degree in Art History. This was followed by an MFA in oil painting from American University. Always motivated, I work daily in my studio and now am privileged to be able to share with students what Ihave gained through years of practice. I teach for the Smithsonian and the Art League, and have exhibited widely both here in the States and in India. It fills mewith delight that my life revolves around art.

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