“I am a collector of domestic throw-aways. I don’t want to say garbage but basically, garbage.” says DeAno.
She uses a flat surface, paper, but builds off the paper to make a three dimensional image. She refers to them as drawings even though when she draws she makes it a 3D sculpture. It isn’t always easy, especially when the “found objects” get heavier.
“I was using paper that couldn’t take the weight. It was buckling. I moved up to printing paper." she says.
DeAno is a “stay at home mom” and in one way this is part of her inspiration. She says as a mom you are at home “surrounded by crap.” As an artist it gives you an opportunity to explore the use of this “crap” in your art—this and the fact that neighbors often leave packages of bits of junk on her doorstep. Why this sort of art? Why is she, personally, driven to create?
“I make art in order to make my own rules, go where I want to go, be whoever I want to be and to be able to escape the here and now." she says.
And while creating art is a joy to her, selling it is not always so joyful.
“Buying a piece of art is nothing like buying a new shirt or a carton of milk. Many do not make art a priority in their lives and act goofy about it. Selling art is hard and really just feels the least me in the entire process. I feel sorry for car salesmen, yuck,” says DeAno. “However, I cannot imagine my life without art all around me, the mere thought makes me incredible sad. And I have always loved displaying work, that makes me smile, wide.”
Yet her art isn’t all inspired by household items. More recently she has been spending time in Wisconsin’s Driftless region. While she still works mostly at home the time she spends in Driftless is giving her work a new, less domestic direction.
“You can finish your sentences up there, finish your thoughts.” says DeAno.
Being able to finish a thought is, of course, an asset for an artist whose work has a pronounced conceptual component.
“A guy bought five pieces for an office building,” she says. “I don’t want to pigeonhole myself. Women might get the process more but the finished product is universal.”
She glues work on paper, sews on it. When she has had issues with paper she has worked with her framer to make sure the glues and papers match and so there is no buckling. But she still experiments with media and isn’t afraid to do what it takes to push the envelope with the materials she uses. Some recent pieces use bits of old tires—not something you would think of as easily glued to paper!
“The bottom line is to make strong work and take risks.” she says.