Jordan Daines

The happy artist

Jordan’s studio is bright and open and full of natural light. Large paintings lean against the wall, some complete, while others are awaiting their turn. An easel sits in the corner with a canvas adorned by a beautiful array of vibrant colors coming to life as they circle around and around. To some, the looping pigments resemble tree trunk rings; others see a thumbprint or an oyster shell. One of the more substantial linear abstracts Jordan loves to tackle takes up a good portion of another wall, while a cart sits with wet paint and a variety of Jordan’s tools of choice — painting knives. Next to the cart, art books with dog-eared pages sit nearby, ready to inspire. Her husband, and best art critic, works busily at his desk drawing up architectural plans. And, of course, the studio wouldn’t be complete without one of Jordan’s signature pieces: a vibrant painting of lips smiles from the corner.

Jordan describes herself in the words of her favorite artist Wayne Thibaud: “I am a happy artist,” and everything about Jordan, her space, and her art screams good vibes. Although Jordan’s pieces are varied, they all share some common themes. Jordan loves color! Black and white just doesn’t do it for her. “I love to paint by laying down color and reacting to it,” Jordan shares. Her work also exhibits a certain roughness. She embraces her flaws: “Imperfection is one of my strengths. I’m not trying to make a perfect piece. It has to be up to my quality of standards, but the imperfection of something and kind of the ‘offness’ or the rawness of the piece is something that I feel is specific to my work.” No paintbrushes for this painter. She loves the look and texture she can create with painting knives. She says, “It has to feel a certain way, but the more brutal, the better.”

Jordan has loved creating since she was a child and has identified as an artist for a long time. She remembers receiving her first set of oil paints in 5th grade as a reward for practicing the piano. Jordan has had a love for oils ever since and doesn’t mind the messiness of the medium. In fact, she knows all the tricks for getting it out of clothes, and she has been known to deliver paintings that are still wet to the gallery.

When Jordan took art classes in high school, she honed her craft with the help of an amazing art teacher who saw her potential and helped her develop as an artist. After high school, Jordan graduated from Caine School of the Arts in Logan, Utah. Soon after, Jordan and her husband headed to LA so he could attend architect school. In Los Angeles, the couple started a family, and Jordan worked as a personal trainer, all while she continued to paint. Jordan exhibited her work in a few art shows and online, but it was a chance discovery through Pinterest that opened the door for more significant opportunities. A woman in Dallas, Texas, saw Jordan’s work and loved it. She commissioned several large-scale paintings for her new gallery opening. Getting into the Dallas gallery was a huge stepping stone in Jordan’s career; it was also a big risk. She had to invest in many supplies and materials; however, her hard work and skills were rewarded. Jordan began making a name for herself through her paintings of large abstracts, hot dogs, and lips. Her fun, playful — yet artful style was getting noticed, and Jordan gained traction as a professional artist.

Jordan and her family moved from LA to Midway in 2015, where fate led her to Colby Larsen, the owner of five Park City art galleries. Jordan was invited to feature her work in one of Colby’s galleries — Pando Fine Art. Although the gallery has a more natural mountainscape feel, that hasn’t stopped Jordan from selling her crowd favorites: lips and hot dogs. Jordan would like to keep one of her hot dog paintings to display on her wall, but she can’t keep one on hand because they sell too fast. When she started showing in Park City, Jordan began creating pieces with more organic shapes and references to outdoor scenes. However, Jordan’s work is open to interpretation. Many of her linear abstracts remind people of aspens, but Jordan has started signing them on the back so that the painting can be hung in any direction. Jordan shares, “I paint joy and what inspires me, and then people can do and see whatever they want.”

The viewer’s reaction is very rewarding for Jordan. She doesn’t create a painting with an agenda of what she wants the viewer to see. She wants them to see whatever they are drawn to. At one of her shows, a couple from the Great Lakes area was looking at a painting and said it looked just like the road to their cabin. “That means a lot to me that they can put themselves in a place with my work that I wasn’t even trying to go to. I like them to connect with it within their backgrounds and their own experiences.”

Jordan’s work continues to evolve, and she has no shortage of ideas or plans. As she thumbs through the books of her favorite artists, she sees more destinations her art can take her to. She has several different areas she’s explored with her paints. Her unique series cross a varied span of work. She likes to keep things moving and fresh by not restricting herself to just one area or subject. Jordan’s painted everything from hot dogs and textiles to abstract lines and packaged meat. As she’s been able to have her artwork featured in galleries, she says, “It’s moved from being one of my hobbies — which I’ve kept painting just because I needed to for my own self-creativity- to, oh, I can actually make some money off of this.”

Jordan admits to the vulnerability that has come as she puts her work out into the world, but she says the more she does it, the less she cares what people think. She shares the advice she gives to her children: “I tell my kids everyone has to do something they’re uncomfortable with, but if you do something you’re uncomfortable with, you end up growing from it and learning from it and getting better.” And where did Jordan learn such sound advice? Her mother. She says, “I credit her because she wasn’t afraid to do something. She wasn’t going to wait around for her husband to use the power tools. Her ability to get in and do something without being afraid of messing up or failing or not making something perfect, I do credit her for that.”

Jordan lives her life by the motto, “Create more than you consume.” However, she certainly does not believe painting is the only way to be creative. Jordan says, “As long as you’re creating, I don’t care what it is, create. She mentions several different ways creativity is expressed: singing, yard work, gardening, making food, and fitness. But there’s one thing all creative outlets have in common: “The more you produce, the better you get. Keep going, and you’ll get better no matter what.” Jordan feels that it is part of human nature to create. She says, “You’ve got to produce, you’ve got to create, you’ve got to put something out there and contribute to the world rather than just taking it all in. Everyone has creativity in them. They just need to do it.”

“…you’ve got to put something out there and contribute to the world rather than just taking it all in. Everyone has creativity in them…”