May 2, 2012

"A good painting to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires. "
Hedy Lamarr

This quote represents why I chose to resurrect my DMV Art blog. I entered the 2012 Blogathon to force myself to not only work on my writing craft, but also to find comfort in the friend of art.

"Advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th century."
Marshall McLuhan

I see art everywhere. It haunts me in my office from the graphic designing from our Marketing Department. It seduces me in the clean lines of our modern chairs in our quite conference rooms. It peeks out at me in the tear sheets of corporate collateral. It shouts at me like the revolutionary on the street, yet I seem to keep walking past it, racing to continue to punch the time clock and meet superficial deadlines.

I have admitted the hardest truth to myself. I have allowed myself to be spoonfed the corporate definition of art. The kind that is spit out by a Lexmark printer. It glistens and gleams with color and line definition. But it lacks the capacity to overload my senses like the smell of vinyl or the feel of a tarlatan cloth in my hand after an intense day of experimentation.

So here I am, baring my soul through keystrokes of a laptop in a faceless cube at the end of a long row of emptiness. I am digging in. I no longer want my art fix from a steel corporate spoon. Thank you for choosing to join me on this reverse rabbit hole adventure. I have been at the bottom looking up. Now I am climbing to the top to find my friend. Post by post. Interview by interview. And most importantly for all writers who write in their heads and selfishly don't share, keystroke by keystroke
Disclaimer: I pulled these quotes off of a quick Google Search so if the quote or author isn't accurate, you know my intentions were good.

Sep 22, 2010

Introducing Dawn Campbell

Richmond-based artist Dawn Campbell creates extraordinary pieces of work that capture unforgettable moments on canvas that initiate personal and emotional connections to patrons and art enthusiasts. 

What does art mean to you?
  •  Art is the means in which I like to communicate my thoughts and ideas. Art is a way to share a thought, feeling or to express an idea.
Some of your pieces focus on important moments in a family's life. What drives you to capture these moments for your clients?
  • I like to capture moments that make a person smile. I also like the excitement that my clients get when they can see a moment in time captured. I try my best to really feel the emotions that they may feel for a person. I love my family and friends so when a person wants to get a picture of their mother done...I can feel the love they feel and put that in my work.

Billie by Dawn Campbell
Why do portraits interest you so much?
  • I love to watch people. I think that's where my portrait work comes from. I think I have always had a connection to people and their faces. You can get a lot of emotion from a person’s face. 
What flavors or contributions does the DMV area bring to the art world?
  • I think the DMV area is a melting pot of different cultures, ideas, and types of art. We offer music, visual arts, dance, theatre and so many other forms. For a visual artist having other artistic outlets is stimulating. I currently live in Richmond but I can drive to DC and go to the Kennedy Center or to Blues Alley to hear live Jazz. There's nothing like being in a moment and then capturing the feelings you felt from that moment. Living in DMV area gives the opportunity to have a lot of different types of things to capture.

Jazz Night by Dawn Campbell

What is your favorite art festival/gallery event that you have participated in?
  • Currently I am working on an exhibit called “Presenting…” This is my debut solo exhibit at the Glen Allen Art Center in Richmond Virginia. The exhibit will be showing the entire month of February. The exhibit will be located in the Slant Wall Gallery. This exhibit shows the love and admiration of music through my eyes. It has themes of legends in music, children and music, and different perspectives of instruments.
You mentioned that music is what is inspiring your current collection. Are there certain artists that consistently fuel a creative session for you?
  • Right now I like to hear jazz while I am working. Esperanza Spalding and Roy Hargrove are my current "on repeat". I actually have a picture of Esperanza but I haven't completed a picture of Roy. I hope to be able to include one of him in my show.

Esperanza by Dawn Campbell
What is your creative process?
  • I have been creating art since I was very young. My process is never the same... Sometimes I get my ideas from pictures. Sometimes I get ideas from “people watching”. It all depends on where my head is at the moment. Currently my pieces are all based on music. My husband (who is a musician) and I have been going to a lot of festivals, concerts and spending time in very music based cities. So, I have been inspired by musicians.
What inspires you?
  • Everything inspires me, which is why I have to keep a journal with me. I can sit in church and get a good idea for a piece of artwork. I never run out of inspiration.
What is your favorite piece of artwork that you have created and do you still have it?
  • My favorite piece of artwork is a piece I did in high school, called “A Night of Jazz with Lionel Hampton”. I did it in a printmaking class. Lionel Hampton was a legendary jazz musician and my brothers godfather. I was able to get him to sign several of the prints and I have one hanging in my living room. It always reminds me of taking advantage of every opportunity in life.

Cannonball by Dawn Campbell

Do you have a favorite artist in the DMV area?
  • Art is like food…I love it all.
If you could have a one-on-one session with an artist (either dead or alive) to pick their brain for inspiration, knowledge or techniques, who would it be?
  • This might be strange but I love the work of photographers. I would love to talk to James Van Der Zee and Gordon Parks. As far as illustrators, I would love to talk to Norman Rockwell. I would love to ask all of them, how did they capture so much and such important times in history.
Where is your favorite place to see artwork from colleagues or beginning artists?
  • I have always enjoyed small local galleries and any types of festivals. I love festivals with crafts, food and music. It always amazes me how artistic a baker can be.
What are your favorite mediums to work with (for example: mixed, collage, watercolor, charcoal and etc...)?
  • I prefer to work in colored pencils. I love Prismacolors because they blend like pastels. I especially like to work in colored pencils because I can work in my studio space or work in another room and sit with my family. It’s hard to move around with paints.
What is the one artist tool that you cannot live without (ex: type of brush, paint or etc.)?
  • I cannot live without a piece of paper and a pencil. Because if I am not drawing, I am writing about what I plan to work on next.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you as an artist, or to remember about your work?
  • That I have only just begun to scratch the surface of my art. I want to be the kind of artist that has some effect on communities and young people. I remember being young and having art as an outlet and a part of me that could escape. While everyone else was getting in trouble, I had art to keep me out of trouble.
What feeling or thoughts do you hope people take away from your work?
    I Gotta Sing by Dawn Campbell
  • I hope that my work evokes feelings of happiness and peace.
Where can people find your work?