Friday, August 3, 2012

Dawn Whitelaw

By Terry Howell Stanley
The Art of the Portrait Journal
 Issue No. 37, 3rd Quarter 2007

A common thread between the most successful women artists, past and present, is they consider their success neither a result nor an accomplishment in spite of their gender. Dawn Whitelaw echoes that sentiment, saying “I feel that my career is shaped by my personality, by my likes and dislikes, my strengths and weaknesses.  My gender has influenced who I am and the choices I’ve made, but I honestly don’t feel like it has generally hindered or helped…my career.”
Private collection, oil

Dawn studied art in college at David Lipscomb University, but her first years in the workforce focused on graphic arts…until she saw the painting Man With A Cat by Cecilia Beaux. Her love affair with painting began in that moment. 

She attended a workshop with Everett Raymond Kinstler shortly thereafter and credits her continuing studies with him as a major influence in her work.  At one point she asked Mr. Kinstler his advice to make her a better portrait painter.  His reply was to paint nature - landscapes – outdoors, on site.

oil, 30" x 20"
She ignored that advice until one of her own university students asked her the same question and she found herself parroting Kinstler’s advice. The audacious student didn’t have a car, so Dawn not only became chauffeur but got hooked on painting en plein air…and her portrait work did indeed improve!

In the ensuing years, Dawn Whitelaw has achieved notoriety as a talented painter of people and of nature. She is a generous and popular instructor and has won numerous accolades including the Best of Show at the 2001 Art of the Portrait® conference, and second place in the Richeson 75: Figure/Portrait 2007 competition. She has been the subject of articles in several recent national publications, including American Artist magazine’s portrait special edition and Workshop magazine, as well as an online chat on  An extended article will be posted on the Portrait Society website and will give readers more specific information on her methods and inspiration

No comments:

Post a Comment