The portraits began when Dana was riding the subway system (Bay Area Rapid Transit) between Oakland and San Francisco on an almost daily basis. Her original intention was to study Spanish during the commute, but she found this impossible so she began to draw people on her iPod touch.
Dana drew approximately eleven people a day for a year. There is an element of espionage drawing people on BART and making sure people do not know they are being drawn.
There were a couple hundred of these drawings done when in 2012 she became artist in residence at The de Young Museum in San Francisco. At the Museum the portraits, (without the espionage), took on another flavor. People very willing sat for Dana and were interviewed by her while sitting. The portraits became something other than just the physical resemblance, but also included personal elements of the sitter as an individual. At times, the portraits would capture more of the sitter’s inward spirit than that of their outward appearance.
Portraits from photographs resemble their subjects and leave room for more artistic elements to emerge, as well as any personal information the subject cares to share for inclusion. This could be the living room you are in or the palm tree by your pool.
When Dana first started drawing her fellow commuters, she started a blog: http://www.betweenstops.wordpress.com as a place to put the pictures of strangers on a train. BetweenStops evolved to be less about made up stories and more about situations that happened in every day life.
As the blog changed, and as the portraits have evolved, they will continue to transform. That’s exciting!