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Meet Carson Valley’s Artists: Dana Childs d’Lauren

In recognition of the Carson Valley Arts Council and the upcoming 2021 Art Studio Tour, we have selected a few outstanding artists to highlight. Each has a particular passion for Carson Valley and all the beauty, inspiration, culture, and history it represents.

Dana Childs – d’Lauren is not only an incredible artist specializing in watercolor, she also loves to teach others how to create amazing pieces themselves. “One of my greatest passions in life is to either keep the flame of our innate love for learning alive, or to reignite this flame in the hearts of those whose flames have dwindled, or been completely dowsed,” says Dana.

With 20+ years’ experience teaching watercolor as well as graphite and acrylic mediums, she brings an in-depth understanding of how to connect with her students and pass on skills that empower her students to create to their hearts desire, with amazing results. “My job, if I do it well, is to work myself out of a job,” she says.

Why Carson Valley

Dana currently lives in Gardnerville. When we asked her what it is about Carson Valley that makes it so special she replied, “It’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet and I’ve traveled throughout Asia and North America. I have yet to find amazing hiking trails and alpine lakes along with a beautiful strolling river through our amazing ag lands like we have here in the Carson Valley. The absolute essence of living rural is best found in the country but not all of us are equipped to live that life, so living in town surrounded by ag lands is a great compromise.

Living in Gardnerville has been one of the biggest blessings for me. As my daughter likes to say around Christmas time, ‘it’s like you live in a Hallmark snow globe.’ The people, the parades and the great sense of community in addition to the surrounding beauty and amazing hiking trails have won my heart over. I can’t imagine living anywhere else after this. Genoa is one of my favorite haunts, but as an artist the light in Gardnerville is phenomenal to paint by, so I settled here.”

Dana’s love for Carson Valley is reflected in her work as she draws inspiration from hiking the trails and kayaking the Carson River. She particularly loves the fall colors and mountain views that surround the area and uses the words “stellar and spectacular” to describe both.

Her favorite piece inspired by Carson Valley is her painting of Jobs Peak, which currently hangs in a show in Genoa called “The Eye of the Beholder”.

Dana says, “Georgia O’Keeffe once said of the mountains near her ranch, ‘they’re mine, God said if I paint them enough, he would give them to me.’ I have that saying in a frame sitting where I can read it and look at the mountains at the same time.”

Dana’s favorite Carson Valley inspired piece.

Dana will be one of the twenty-four artists featured in the 2021 Art Studio Tour October 8th-10th. Visit to find out more about the event and be sure to check out more of Dana’s beautiful work on her website.

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