Dawne Brandel, artist for the month of December

Dawn in her studio

Our final artist feature for this year is a well recognized and award winning, long time member of the Arrowsmith Chapter of the FCA, Dawne Brandel.

Dawne paints in a loose, impressionistic style. She says. “I love colour and contrast.” She paints with acrylics, loving the flexibility, and the fact that she can paint in layers in a short time. Dawne tells us that acrylics also force her to paint quickly without “thinking too hard” especially if she wants to blend the paint. Although she’s painting primarily in acrylics right now, she does paint in oil sometimes when the mood hits her.

When asked what her style of painting is, she said “I’m an intuitive painter and if I can stay out of my head and tune into the “creative force” so to speak, everything works much better on the canvas. As far as subject matter goes, that is always changing. Landscapes, florals and most recently buildings are probably the most popular.”

When creating her work, Dawne says it is about trying to tap into the creative energy and not overthinking the process. “It’s all about the process and that brings the best outcome.”

We asked Dawne what inspired her to become an artist. “I’ve always been involved in the arts in one form or another. I married an artist so that alone immersed me in the art world. I spent most of my career in horticulture and florist design. It teaches you a lot about composition, colour and design –  just in a three demential context.

Dawne has gathered inspiration for her paintings from several places: “I’ve been inspired by my husband, other  artists that I admire and of course workshops and classes. Fellow artists are always an inspiration and I’m grateful that there is such a supportive arts community where I live. We all learn from each other.”

When asked what her ideal studio space would be, Dawne told us that she used to have her ideal space, but a move has required a compromise in space. If she could build her ideal studio, it would ” have plenty of elbow room to back up from the work and study the progress, tons of natural light, warmth, and room to throw paint around…oh yes, and a fantastic view  of nature.”

To all the emerging and beginning artists out there, Dawne has some words of wisdom and advice: “If I could give any advice it would be to just keep painting…practice, practice, practice. An artist once said “your abilities are always two years behind your vision”. I love this quote as it keeps reminding me to just keep working at it. If I get too hard on myself and am never satisfied, it’s a good idea to remind yourself it’s all a journey and it’s all about the process….sometimes it’s magic and sometimes it’s just frustrating.” 

Looking ahead, Dawne told us,

“Going into the future I hope to improve my skills, get more representation through galleries and most of all paint for the joy of it. (The joyfulness always produces the best art for me). When you are trying to make a living at art it can be very challenging to keep the focus on the joy and not the responsibilities of income….it really screws up the creativity.”

We wish you many more years of success, Dawne. For more information, or to see Dawne’s work, please check out her website, www.dawnebrandel.com


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