What is Dala Art?

dala art design Dec 30, 2018

Dala Art is art designed within a circle that has been divided into segments by one continuous line that may or may not cross over itself.  It can be of any size, in any medium, either abstract or representational.  The objects or patterns that fill each segment may be confined within the boundaries of each segment or spill out of the segment boundaries and the circumference of the circle.

In 2013, to make my color workshop more fun, I used the format of a mandala to create color wheels. Back in my studio I became obsessed with altering the geometry of the mandalas and playing with variations of color shapes that still resembled a color wheel.

One thing led to another and I began to draw objects into the shapes and to go beyond color wheels to experiment with color schemes. The Color Scheme Game was born. 

I shared several of the circular paintings with other artists in a color workshop I was teaching in Maryland.  Several of them asked if I also created...

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Painting in the dark with dip pen and watercolor

ink pub painting watercolor Dec 12, 2018

December 12, 2018

The above clip is from a documentary filmed and edited by my daughter, Nicole, in 2005.  The rest of the documentary is not soooo dark; it's filmed in my studio and in one of the galleries where I had a solo exhibit in 2005.

In 2004, Pat Sonne and I began working together to bring the process of creating art into the public eye during open mic sessions in local pubs.  Aside from it being incredibly fun, our goal was to inspire the inner artist within people who might not step foot into a gallery or museum, as well as to dispel the notion that an artist creates art only while standing at an easel wearing a beret. Pat, a life drawing model, moved to the music while I sketched her movements. We were "working the pubs" three to four nights a week for about two years.

Ladd Hoover filming at the Todd Wolfe Blues Jam in Easton, PA

Feeling the urge to expand the concept of painting movement in public venues, I set out on my own and painted during yoga...

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Muted Hues

Uncategorized Nov 12, 2018

November 12, 2018 

Many years ago a photo was taken of me holding my daughter, Alexis.  I'd just gotten out of the shower and Alexis was wearing an undershirt on her head.  Upon seeing the photo, my sister-in-law stated that it looked like the cover of a magazine that might be called Bizarre Horizons.  And so, Bizarre Horizons was born, if only in my own mind.  It became an imaginary magazine for artists, writers, inventors and philosophers.  The closest it has ever come to reality is a blog that my brother and I started and have allowed to lie dormant.  I'm now using it as a gallery of sorts.  This is where I began posting some of my favorite photos that I've taken while traveling and painting.  Taking photos as I explore keeps me looking keenly at the world around me and I notice more details and nuances of color.

 link: Muted Hues Gallery

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Uncategorized Nov 07, 2018

November 12, 2018

A blog post from three years ago: December 31, 2015

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DIY Watercolor Art Pocket Palette

I use three different magnetic Pocket Painter Palettes.  To see other Watercolor Travel palettes click here.

Nine-Well Watercolor Art Pocket Palette:

Nine-Well Magnetic Watercolor Art Pocket Palette

I love that I can see through the lid so that I know which primaries I'm taking with me and when I need to refill the wells.  I only need six pigments, a warm and cool of each primary.  I use the three little wells in the middle to keep my mixes clean.  Thanks to the deep lid, I can paint sketches that require larger areas of a wash while still keeping three separate color mixes clean (in the little wells).  The magnetic square on the bottom keeps the wells in place and allows for easy removal of each pan for cleaning and refilling.

My Standard Six Pigment Palette

My standard six-pigment palette is Gamboge, Aureolin, Joe's Blue (phthalo), Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Red Light.  I arrange them (as shown above) as they would...

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Before Coffee


October 24, 2018

Most mornings, I pour myself a huge glass of water and pick up a pen or pencil before I do anything else.  What I really want to do is pour myself a cup of hot, fresh-brewed coffee and wander through the house or garden checking on my plants as I slowly awaken to the day.

Botanical Dala Art - Faber-Castell TK 9400 5B Clutch Pencil


The video above is the final segment of a video I made yesterday (after having my first and second cup of coffee).  The entire, eight minute video including the "before coffee" segment may be viewed by clicking this link:  BEFORE COFFEE

The quality of video taken with the GoPro is far better than the quality achieved with the 360 degree Rylo.  Both cameras are indispensable for capturing the creative moments in my life without the help of a film crew. 

Learning the ins and outs of filming and editing demo videos to share with you is an exciting and challenging new venture for me.  Take a...

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Rue de Dunkerque - Paris, France


July 12, 2018

With phone in hand, for still photos and video, as well as a GoPro secured in my chest harness, I climb out the window from my sixth-floor room at the hostel.  A towel serves as a cushion to ease the discomfort of sitting on the framing of the casement window.  Fortunately, my roommates aren't in the room. I'm able to concentrate on sketching, recording and making sure that my body and my equipment are secure on the windowsill.

July 13, 2018

Back on ground level, I'm sketching from the Marcel and Clémentine café on the corner of rue de Dunkerque and rue Gérondo.

One of the goals for my time in Paris is to work mostly in pencil.  For many years, I've sketched in ink and watercolor.  It's time to break the mold and challenge the brain to shift gears manually rather than come up with solutions on auto-pilot.  My brain wants to think in ink and translate into pencil.  I'm looking forward to the...

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