I was first introduced to Deirda Doan and her work last year when she won my OWOH giveaway draw. Between the beauty of her site, her husband John's ethereal music, her blog quickly became a feature in my Beautiful Blogs section. Today you will meet the lovely, and very interesting Deirdra.
Good morning Deirdra, and thank you for this. First can you tell our readers a few things about yourself.
I was born and grew up in southern California on a little 2 acre ranch in the midst of a neighbourhood with homes, horse ranches and orange groves. I lived in my grandfather's home who was a real romantic. He was an artist with wood and owned a cabinet shop.
He created dreams for me to grow in. We had a cabin in the mountains and loved spending time in the desert enjoying the flowers and the old west. I grew up in cowgirl boots and rode horses each weekend. [Grandpa] taught me to love making things. i had all the kitties, puppies and chickens a girl could want. My favourite thing was to go riding with him down to the river beds that were dry. Sometimes the horses would start to buck because they were scared by a rattle snake. My Grandpa would take out his pistol and shoot the rattle snake right on the spot taking the rattle off the snake to add to his collection. One time my horse got caught in the quicksand and Grandpa threw out a rope that I looped onto the saddle horn. he pulled my horse out by the rope from the quicksand. Grandpa taught me to face trouble with action and not to panic.
The town we lived in was Riverside, California. Art was everywhere around me both in architecture and natural beauty with the San Gabriel Mountains flanked by a large palm lined streets. There were Arts and Craft style homes, street lights and building filling the town. Riverside was the most wealthy per capita during the time of the3 founding of Navel Orange in Riverside. The Mission Inn was the old world cultural center of the town started in the 1800s with the most amazing architecture. I loved it very much. Our church was held in the old YWCA building down the street from the Mission Inn. I ran all over the building that is now the Art Museum. It was designed by Julie Morgan the architect of the Hearst Castle.
When I was ten years old, I moved back with my mother and lived in Mississippi, Florida, Oregon and England. I had an amazing education in England. I was blessed to see beautiful art and museums giving me a world class education.
I went to California College of Arts and Crafts [and] graduated from University of Miami with a BFA in painting.
Though I had much in the way of travel, romance and beauty, I didn't have the most stable of childhoods with all the moving and family changes. I bonded with Beauty. Beauty gave me joy and stability.
Now I live in Oregon and have a very loving supportive husband, John Doan, who is a well known Harp Guitarist and university professor. We have been married 25 years, [and have] lived an exciting life [involving] travel, beautiful events and people. We have collaborated on his musical career. I have been the photographer, PR, graphics, film and stage/wardrobe director for our company.
Also during the past 10 years, my husband and I built a home and garden on a hill. The planning, gathering of old doors and windows etc., building, decorating and creation of the garden was a extremely large endeavour.
Wow, how interesting Deirdra!
Can you explain when and why you started a blog.
I went to Art and Soul for the first time in October 2007. Everyone I met had a blog and the light bulb went on. I was amazed that I could enjoy the most wonderful art from my living room! I was like a kid in a candy store. I wanted to join the party ~ [which I did on] October 22, 2007.
Why did you name your blog simply Deirdra Doan?
Having been the PR department for my husband's musical career for so many years I realized I needed to use my own name for name recognition. As much as I loved the beautiful names of people's blogs, they are hard to remember. Keeping it direct seemed right for my blog. The exact transliteration of my name, Deirdra in Celtic is "God on my Blessing" so technically my blog is called God on my Blessing.
Do you prefer to blog with words, pictures or both?
I like blogs that are heavy on the pictures, but I like words too, that add to the visuals.
Tell us about some individuals that you may have met through your blog.
Well, this coming week, I am going to meet two friends I got to know through blogging, for the first time when I travel to Arizona and California. I have come to know Jane Des Rosier of Gritty Arts Studios, [who is] an amazing productive artist. We talk not only through email and blogs, but we also talk on the phone. She helped me learn to make dolls and we talk about the business of selling art. We have a deep heart connection around our faith in Christ. it is fun to talk to another artist about this part of our art united with our spirituality.
What feature do you like most on your blog?
I love the colour of my background and the first mixed media self portrait on the right side column. I took a photo of myself in the museum in Vienna where Klimt paintings are housed. I put a crown and wings on myself. I like the expression and light. It is called Dreaming of Klimt.
Do you ever blog when you "don't feel like it"?
Yes, sometimes. If it is late or I am tired, but I like all my friends and want to keep them posted. My life seems to have so much going on if I go too long, I miss sharing these things. Also it is a kind of artistic diary I use for my own enjoyment and memories.
What, would you say is the purpose of your blog?
To share beauty: oil paintings, beautiful romantic women paintings, art dolls and the joy of living an artful life everyday.
Do you sell your art online?
Yes, I have an Etsy shop. I just sold my first piece ~ it was my Marie Antoinette doll. It is very exciting and I have had one of my dolls featured by the Etsy staff on a story and video they did about another doll artist.
Do you have anything else to share?
I have lived my adult years making art out of my life; in my decorating, photos, floral work, cooking, parties, gardens, paintings. Often it has been seen by only a small number of people. But now with a creative blog I have the opportunity to share my artful work with many others. And not just the regular population but with other artistic people. For the first time I am not seen as a strange or unusual person who may be considered genius or just over the top. I am understood and loved by other like-minded wonderful people. I can't tell how much it has enriched my life. I am inspired to do more art and share more of my art full life with them. What a blessing to have this forum to share on with the whole Internet world.