Artist profile: Daniela Campins

Winsor & Newton is a proud supporter of The Fine Art Collective (TFAC), a global network committed to educating, connecting, and empowering artists the world over.

In this series, we talk to international members of the TFAC network whose passion for art materials and wealth of knowledge enables other artists to push the boundaries of their creativity.

Daniela Campins is a painter based in Los Angeles. She got her MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and won a Painting and Printmaking Fountainhead Arts Fellowship from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work is frequently exhibited on both US coasts and in Tokyo, Japan.

She also leads TFAC workshops across the US, passing on her expert knowledge of Winsor & Newton’s products to eager artists. We asked Campins about her favourite paints, the advice she’d give to aspiring artists, and the Latin American influence in her artwork.

Tell us a bit about your practice as an artist.

I make paintings, drawings and sculptures. My work is non-representational, direct, and articulates physical concepts such as gravity, buoyancy, collision, traces, pulling and dissolution.

Lately, atmosphere and lightness have been important. These ideas come through in the manner that the elements are organised, and not in its accurate resemblance or mimetic appearance. There is a constant of impulse and restraint when I am handling materials, a visual descriptive narrative of fallen splatters, cascading marks, anchored traces and severed parts.

Daniela Campins, Surround
Daniela Campins, Surround


Why do you paint?

I grew up surrounded by paintings! My grandfather was a big supporter of the arts and collected paintings from local artists in my hometown city of Maracay, in Venezuela. My parents were musicians and had many artist friends such as painters, ceramicists, sculptors, dancers, and composers. I went to museums and exhibitions as a kid, and I was an artistic kid who loved to make things. After trying many creative paths I settled with painting! It was Marie Thibeault’s Colour Theory class at Cal State Long Beach that finalised it for me.

What materials do you work with most frequently?

I was trained traditionally, painting still life and landscape and using oil paints like Winsor & Newton Artists’ Oil Colour exclusively. My first love is oil, but currently I have been entertaining acrylic inks, acrylic paint markers and textured gels. With the addition of acrylics and mediums to my practice, my work has taken on a different dimension. I can work at a different pace, there’s more versatility, easier clean-up, and convenience for my very hectic life.

Why do you use these materials, and how do they inform your practice?

Oil has this wonderful feel to it, and the smell – oh, the smell – there’s so much history attached to it. My latest explorations with acrylics have allowed me to get a different finish and line quality. For example, the inks have this wonderful staining capability, and I have been staining my surface, which is usually canvas, and making drawings using the markers. Then I come back with paint and continue to fill in and build up the surface. It’s a spontaneous process.

As a teacher and working artist, what advice do you have for fellow artists wanting to establish a career?

There’s so much I’d say. It comes down to four things:

  • Travel and experience the world.
  • Be patient and trust the process.
  • Do bad artwork to find yourself and discover new things.
  • Make friends in your art classes, grow a community, organise exhibitions, form a collective!

Share three surprising facts about yourself.

  1. Not long ago I was a metalhead. I went to as many concerts as I could and I filled books with ticket memorabilia. Sepultura and Pantera are still my favourites.
  2. I love traveling by myself.
  3. I’m a craft bartender. I can make you a fantastic Manhattan!

Read our interviews with Nick Scrimenti and Robert Rost to find out about other TFAC artists.