Rural Central Wisconsin native Jessica Dawn Engel has been focused on art from a young age.
“While I may have started out as a young girl drawing in a sketchbook, my passion for art and different art mediums developed rapidly,” Engel says. “Although self-taught, my peers were quick to see my talents and I became the go-to for a variety of fine art pieces.”
Engel decided to expand into her own fine art business, Daisy Dawn Designs, LLC, in April 2017, and now specializes in painted pet portraits and charcoal drawing family portraits.
“In 2018, I was asked to paint a yellow lab’s portrait, Gus, on an ornament,” Engel says. “After painting him, that’s when the pet portrait requests started flooding in. With my love for animals and art, it was a match made in heaven.
“Even now, hundreds of portraits later, I still love every minute of painting in my studio.”
She also enjoys switching up the types of surfaces she paints on and is always trying to improve her brand.
“[I paint on] canvas to barn wood to wood slices… my favorite being wood slices,” Engel says. “I love the texture and unique designs in each individual type of wood. I love to accent the painted portraits with wood burned designs. I’m continually working on improving the whole gift-giving package for my clients, now offering each portrait in a gloss gift box.”
Like many creative folks, Engel’s story did not follow the original plan she had for herself.
“After taking starter classes in Stevens Point, I realized my relationship with technology was not a love story,” Engel says. “So, I redirected my energy back to my first love of art—hands-on, 2D, elbow deep in charcoal dust and paint splatters art. I’m in my happy place with my paint brushes and worship music. There has not been a day that I’ve regretted that decision.”
In 2019, Engel renovated her hay barn on her farm and now hosts art exhibitions and led painting parties in it from May through July.
“It is so rewarding watching people soak in the atmosphere of one of Wisconsin’s vintage barns while shopping and hanging out with friends,” she says.
Check out Engel’s art on Instagram at @daisy_dawn_designs, on Facebook at Daisy Dawn Designs or The Ivory Barn, or on her website www.daisydawndesigns.com.