Dawn Whitelaw: Artist and Teacher

NOAPS Whitelaw Sanctuary12x16CollectionOfTheArtistOIL_edited-1

“Sanctuary”, 12×16, Oil, Collection of the Artist.

Is it possible to identify what sets a painting apart from others?  Could it be the skill of the artist, the chosen image, the application of the paint, or the feeling of the painting?  In Dawn Whitelaw’s painting “Sanctuary” she has chosen an interior of a church as her subject matter, which in itself can elicit an array of emotion.  But it is also her deft handling of the elements of the painting which cause us to linger.  She has chosen to use warm colors at the focal point, surrounded by the cool greys depicting the stone walls.  There are no figures in the painting, creating a quiet reverence for the scene which she lets us see; we almost get the feeling that we crept into this space unannounced, and stumbled upon this beauty.

Dawn Whitelaw discovered her path in art after viewing a portrait done by Cecilia Beaux of Henry Drinker.  The impressionistic style has become the hallmark of Whitelaw’s work, and after workshops with Jim Pollard and Everett Raymond Kinstler, her path for instruction was realized.

NOAPS Whitelaw Dana24x36Private collectionOIL  “Dana”, 24×36, Oil, Private Collection

Today Dawn paints mainly in oil, but has also worked with acrylic, watercolor and gouache.  Her talent crosses all the genre, from landscapes to interiors, portraits and still life.  Every day is full of inspiration for her; all her senses converge to influence what she will put on a canvas.  Dawn’s process includes in large part plein air and alla prima painting.  She also does studio painting, working from reference photos along with her memories, feelings and other information she has gathered from the scene. She uses a variety of surfaces, and her palette consists of White, Cadmium Yellow medium, Pyrol Red, Ultramarine Blue, Transparent Red and Prussian Blue. Her brushes are a variety of shapes and sizes.

NOAPS Whitelaw AFreshCoat14x11IFranklin's Promise Coalition Inc oil  “A Fresh Coat”, 14×11, Collection of Franklin’s Promise Coalition.

Dawn is also a popular workshop instructor.  As a resident artist at ‘On Track Studios’ in Franklin, Tennessee, she invites students to her studio where she teaches a variety of subject matter.  This Spring Dawn will lead a three-day workshop in conjunction with the National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society 1st Spring SMALL PAINTING National Juried Exhibition, which will be held at the Richland Gallery in Nashville Tennessee.  The title of the workshop is “Reaching the Next Level” on April 30, May 1 & 2, 2018.  Dawn describes the workshop in this way:

“The process of improving your work is one of the great joys of painting.  However, it is easy to get stalled along this journey.  Sometimes we need a little kick-start and the benefit of a new set of eyes, to get back on the path of growth.  This class is an opportunity to take a good, honest look at your current work and consider what most needs improvement.  Is the area that needs tweaking related to handling the paint?…or is it design, color, value, edges, or concept?”

NOAPS Whitelaw Spring is Stirring20x40 PrivateCollection OIL  “Spring is Stirring”, 20×40, Oil, Private Collection

Dawn would tell you that her greatest accomplishment is not of her own painting, but what she has been able to convey to her students, and the success of those artists.  She also tells us to “Surround yourself with good friends who will keep you honest and enjoy the journey”

NOAPS Whitelaw BearlyThere16x20collection of the artist oil  “Bearly There”, 16×20, Oil, Collection of the Artist

We look forward to meeting Dawn at the NOAPS 1st Spring SMALL PAINTING National Juried Exhibition, where she will also be doing a demonstration of her painting technique.

Dawn Whitelaw is on the faculty of the Peninsula School of Art and the Portrait Society of America.  She is also a Master Artist with the American Impressionist Society (AIS) and a founding member of the Cumberland Society of Painters.  She has won many national awards for her work, including the American Art Collector’s Master Award of Excellence in the AIS Annual Juried Exhibition in 2017.  She is represented by Richland Fine Art in Nashville, TN; Leiper’s Creek Gallery in Franklin, TN; Brazier Studio and Gallery, Inc in Richmond, VA; Beverly McNeil Gallery in Birmingham, AL; and Hagan Fine Art Gallery and Studio in Charleston, SC.

To view more of Dawn Whitelaw’s work, visit www.dawnwhitelaw.com

More information and sign up capability will be listed on the website; watch your inbox for updates.

Written by Patricia Tribastone, Blog Director




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