The city of “The Cats” better known as “Los Gatos” is the unincorporated town located in Santa Clara, California and is the birthplace of Dina Appel.  This is where it all started and with the irony in the romance of the love for all things feline, this is where the love for all animals and life began. Although she moved and spent several years in North Carolina in grade school, Dina grew up in Newport Beach most of her life before moving and currently residing in Los Angeles. 

Dina Appel was born to be an artist. Memories dance within her mind of where it all began; pondering images of her little easel and paints she had at three years old.  She lived in an artistic home with both parents contributing to her craft within their own lives, while sharing their day-to-day gifts in parenting and practicalities of raising a family.

“I think I had the artistic genes and my parents were supportive of any artistic learning’s in me from birth, because they were both frustrated artists to some degree. “ – Dina Appel

While supporting Dina in her artistic talents, her parents were keen on making sure she was involved in arts and crafts classes throughout childhood.  She always loved to draw and paint and that passion traveled along side her into adult hood.

“Art was my favorite class in high school and my art teacher was my favorite teacher. I think the act of artistic creation has always felt like home to me!” – Dina Appel

With so much interest in the art world and with creating, it is no wonder Dina creates and exudes passion in everything she does.  The being in her existence that gives inspiration to create is dependent on her particular morning and through the journey of meditation. 

“If I had a super-deep and tranquil meditation session, then I might say I am a temporary physical manifestation of universal energy. On a more “normal” day, my morning meditation is full of more thoughts and plans, to-do lists and things like that than it should be!” – Dina Appel

But with a more grounded meaning to the center of the soul, Dina has bravery in her spirit and portrays kindness all the while being a loving daughter, wife, sister, and friend.  With this thought in mind and of who she is, there is a tireless voice within her to be brave enough to support a ripple of change towards her goal of compassion in our world.  As her people she surrounds herself with and protects, she also invests energy into saving animals and is an artistic entrepreneur in supporting that mission.

“I think the world needs more presence and more compassion. We all, as a species, are so caught up in the whirling thoughts of our own minds and egos.  We all need to slow down...pause. Breathe...think about what truly matters: love, compassion, understanding and respect…these things need to extend to ALL sentient beings.” – Dina Appel

Dina believes that all life; including the lives of the non-humans deserves respect.  These include all animals that share our Earth.  The goal for her is to share with others that these creatures are of sentiment with the ability to feel.  She strongly shares the passion of acknowledging their rights to a happy life.
“I think art is a wonderful opportunity to create that “pause” and bring people into the present moment. Art is an opportunity to create an emotional reaction in the viewer, and perhaps cause them to think about something in a different way.”… “ I want my art to make the viewers think about how their actions affect the world around them, and that their choices matter.” – Dina Appel

Dina has shared a true commitment to peace and kindness and intends to be proactive in her 2017 goals by offering affordable art and licensing to companies to help spread her message with her creations. 

“We need to protect the natural world and respect and love the animals that share our world. I want to share my passion, and if I can open some eyes and hearts along the way, then I’ll be very happy!” – Dina Appel

Throughout the years that creation took place, there are times to reflect upon to see the depth in the state of the artist at the time creative works are being made.  Dina received her Masters Degree in Art Therapy and often has a therapist’s take on seeing technicalities.  She commits to looking deeper however, and embracing the memory of how she felt at the time the piece of art is emerging.

“Another viewer doesn’t have those same memories. So they’ll see the art much differently. I went through a difficult time a few years ago, and during that time I didn’t create art at all. If I had, it would have been very dark and perhaps scary or sad. Right now I’m feeling very deeply passionate about animal rights and I’m in a really happy and centered place, so I think you can see and feel that in my art. I see my art as a reflection of my spirit.” – Dina Appel

Dina Appel has the best of both worlds from an inside view of an outside source.  With the technical aspects in design and artistic ability, she is able to understand the therapy behind it but sees beyond its new made reality.  While she believes that art in it’s many forms makes life wonderful and rich, she understands that art touches everything including architecture and design to music and theatre. 

“I think that nature is the ultimate artist...nothing will ever be more beautiful than the creations of nature, and all our human arts ultimately can be traced back to mother nature. She’s the ultimate artist!” – Dina Appel

With nature ruling art within Dina’s heart, she also looks up to her favorite artists for added inspiration.  Currently, artist Dana Ellyn is top on her list of favorites.   With paintings that strike Dina as brave and powerful, the images Dana creates provoke the senses and overcome boundaries.  With that said, she leaves much room to other favorites; inspiring women who were pioneers in art such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Kahlo.  While these artists influenced strength in Dina’s paintings, it was Lucien Freud and Egon Schiele that influenced her technique and abilities on her drawing side. In the present day however, Dina finds her own place in her own thoughts on technique and offers her own individual style.

“With the work I’m doing right now, I almost always start with a layer of collaged paper on the canvas. This allows me to add both physical texture, and also a layer of meaning to the work. Frequently the first layer is old tissue-paper sewing patterns. I do this, as a little “hi” to my mom, who was an avid seamstress. She passed away when I was a teenager. The next layers of papers are related to the subject of the painting.” – Dina Appel

Lately, Dina uses money from the game Monopoly and “Shooting Targets” due to a strong graphic quality and meaning.  She is able to paint gently the translucent glaze, which encourages the underlying images to peek through.

“I love the effect. It adds a lot of dimensionality to the paintings.” – Dina Appel

It is said that with dimensions, you can find hidden glimpses into the soul.  Dina Appel is full of facets and within those folds house passion and kindness.  Although art is a huge part of her life along with the animals she commits on saving, Yuchia Kung Fu currently consumes her as another passion reflective in a positive way. 

“My number one obsession right now, besides animals and art, is my martial arts practice. I’ve been practicing Yuchia Kung Fu for just over two years now, and it has absolutely changed my life! It’s the best workout, it’s super-fun, it’s given me an incredible feeling of personal power, and it teaches you an internal discipline and centered-ness that’s just amazing.” – Dina Appel

Her newfound passion for martial arts has introduced her to a world of Zen and she meditates daily, managing the stresses of life while keeping her mind in the present.

Dina has a clear mind and adoption of peace within Zen; she could lead other artists in our world to change lives.  There are many artists in our world and much opportunity to change lives, Dina Appel ‘s thought process and art has already made a difference. By committing to the acknowledgment that all of us here, even animals alike are all worthy of our lives and we all deserve to find our center within ourselves and be happy. 

Written By Skye Amber Sweet
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