Open Studios Profile: Sylvia Dahlgren

Today I’d like to interview you to another Silicon Valley Open Studio artist, Sylvia Dahlgren. Sylvia’s paintings have a good sense of design that give them a graceful yet strong presence.

Describe your artistic journey

My earliest memories are of observing a daisy in front of our apartment building in Germany. I spent my elementary years  drawing in class until my world upended by moving to Japan. When, finally the family got back to the US, I was interested in design. The combinations of European, Asian and US culture and design surrounded me. When I was faced with a choice of career, I decided towards design while continuing my painting on my own.

His Church, Ireland 7" x 10" Oil on linen © Sylvia Dahlgren
His Church, Ireland
7″ x 10″ Oil on linen
© Sylvia Dahlgren

Where has art taken you in life?

Around the world several times, from the corporate board room to cottage. From mountains in Kathmandu to skyscrapers in Manhattan.

What do you think about when you begin painting?

At what point do I stop the planning of the painting and let go? How do I capture the feeling that attracted me to the scene?

Nicasio Road 24" x 18" Oil on linen © 2014 Sylvia Dahlgren
Nicasio Road
24″ x 18″ Oil on linen
© 2014 Sylvia Dahlgren

Tell me about one of your favorite paintings or drawings that you’ve made. Why is it your favorite?

My favorite paintings seem to be effortless, immediate and spontaneous. I have no idea afterwards how I did it.

King Wenceslas 9" x 12" Oil on linen © 2014 Sylvia Dahlgren
King Wenceslas
9″ x 12″ Oil on linen
© 2014 Sylvia Dahlgren

If you could ask one question of an artist you admire, who would it be, and what would you ask?

I’d ask Sargent, Zorn and Sorolla: How much of it was planned before they let go?

Sylvia will be exhibiting on May 10 – 11 at Site 116, 1471 Hollidale Court, Los Altos, CA 94024