My Odyssey…

My name is Deanna Strachan-Wilson and I am a mixed media artist.  I live on the Central Coast of California with my husband, Craig, and two cats and I work full time managing an employment program for people with mental illness who want to return to work.

I participated in every art class I could from grade school through high school.  I created all of my high school concert choir programs and was the illustrator on the school paper.  In college I took a few graphic design classes and hated them.  I also took psychology and loved it and have been working in the mental health field ever since.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that I found a relationship between mental health and creativity.

Art is not always about pretty things. It’s about who we are, what happened to us, and how our lives are affected. Elizabeth Broun

In 2013, I returned to art.  The catalyst that brought me here no longer matters.  It is THAT I am here which matters.

I found a place of healing and a way of coping with emotions that at the time seemed to have no words.  I have since come to describe this as “Telling Without Talking”.  When I am creating, I am able to focus only on the present moment, which gives my heart and mind rest from that which I am currently occupied.  As healing came, I found that I desired to learn from and share with others techniques and the process of creating.

In 2015, I began teaching in-person and online mixed media courses and became involved in my local art community.  I have taught live workshops at overallsStudios on the Park in Paso Robles, participated in Art About Town with the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art and various other Art Events including Art After Dark, San Luis Obispo, to name a few.  I have even taught art journaling classes at work to clients with mental illness.

In 2016, I participated in a four-month art mentoring group, ELEVATE with David Limrite, in which I discovered my personal process of creating involving layers and layers of paint and materials, similar to the layers of life.  It is this process I continue to share with others through both online teaching and continued personal creativity.

Some of my current influences include Viktor Sheleg, Jylian Gustlin, Joan Dumouchel and Patricia Derks.

My greatest joy is participating in or contributing to someone else’s creative process; celebrating the frustrations, inspirations, discouragements, and achievements as they are all layers in this creative process of life.