Oh happy day! It is the most fun day at Well + Wonder when we get to introduce a new artist and so today is a one happy day! We are thrilled to introduce Daphne Xiao, an artist, mom, and physician from North Carolina! Daphne is a self-taught artist; she studied chemistry in college and currently splits her time between painting and medicine. Daphne’s inspiration can be found in her everyday scenery, including the mountains and coasts of North Carolina, where she currently resides with her husband and two young children. Her subject matter varies but with each painting she strives to create subtle complexity with layers of delicate texture combined with gradients of color. As is tradition when introducing new Well + Wonder artists we peppered Daphne with all of our favorite questions. Keep reading to hear her answers and remember to set your alarms for Thursday, February 1st at 10 am EST when Daphne's work brightens our gallery walls!
What is currently on your nightstand?
A notebook and pencil to jot ideas down.
Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?
Rothko and Monet. Rothko for color. Monet for color but also for his abstraction of the landscape.
Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?
I have a twin sister, and we would spend literally hours playing imaginative games with each other, including inventing our own secret written language (so we could pass notes to each other that no one would understand).
If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?
This question is sooo hard!! If I absolutely had to pick, it would probably be a dark blue colored pencil.
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
Our den. It’s not the prettiest room but it’s the coziest. It has a fireplace. When we first moved in and didn’t have any furniture, we just stayed in the den with the fireplace roaring and ate all our meals on the couch and coffee table.
What is your biggest score online?
I hardly buy anything online except art supplies and kid’s stuff!
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?
For those that are new to buying original art – start small. Buying through a collective is wonderful because it exposes you to so many different artists and styles.
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
Saint Louis Art Museum has a special place in my heart because I would go there often while I was a medical student at WashU. It’s also where I went on my second date with my husband. Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum is a close second, it is just fascinatingly unique and I love the history and story behind it.
What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?
We don’t stay much in hotels; mostly Airbnbs these days with our two young kids.
If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?
Probably a berry tinted lip balm – got to be practical!
I can never get on a plane without….
A book on my kindle! Give me a feel-good romantic novel any day!
How did you get into the world of art?
I’ve always loved art since I was young, but I didn’t really get back into it seriously until I was in medical residency and searching for something that was just for me. Selling my artwork came several years later and started off with local shows and festivals.
What do you do to relax?
Painting and reading
When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
I actually get the most inspiration during the weeks that I am working in the hospital. Because I can’t paint during those weeks, I spend all my time noticing and thinking, and it’s during those “blank” times of thought/noticing that I develop ideas about what I want to paint.
Prediction for the Color of 2025?
A sunny cheery golden yellow
What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?
Dinner for sure. I have no rhythm!
Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.
For my first art show in 2020, I painted a marsh painting that had quite unconventional colors. The sky was a yellowish green – I’ve tried multiple times now to recreate it but really can’t capture it. It was just a serendipitous mixture and the result was so calming. I love how art is a mix of intentional and accidental creation.
One piece of advice for buying original art?
Buy what you love.