Dawn Whitelaw, portraits and plein air

by Sarah Judson June 07, 2011

Professional artist, teacher and portraitist Dawn Whitelaw sees much in common between portraits and landscapes. Both are best painted from life to understand their character and context. In both cases, the artist is aiming to capture a feeling, an essence, as opposed to everything a photo would include. And in both cases, the artist creates something permanent from a subject that is alive, changing from moment to moment, with a depth of personality to be expressed in lively brushstrokes, color and contrast. "As an enthusiastic, but novice portrait painter, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop with Everett Raymond Kinstler. Having the greatest respect for Kinstler, I asked him what I could do to learn how to paint better portraits. His answer came as a big surprise to me. He told me to get outside and paint landscapes. He suggested that I work small and quickly try to capture the "effect" of the scene." Teaching, doing portraits and landscapes give her the opportunity to travel widely. She will be teaching a "Landscape Bootcamp" at the Peninsula Art School in Door County, Wisconsin, in August. Closer to home, she will give a demo at the Knoxville Museum of Art's sixth annual  "Artists on Location" event this coming Friday evening in the museum's garden. Tickets are $10 (hors d'oeuvres are included).  An exhibit and sale of finished works from this plein air event will be held from 7-10 pm on Saturday, June 11. Admission is free, and there will be wine and hors d'oeuvres.

Sarah Judson
Sarah Judson


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