Mockingbird Gallery presents a one-person show for Dawn Emerson opening Friday, April 4, 5-9pm for the spring Art Hop and First Friday ArtWalk. Emerson is an exciting artist known for the strong composition and bold color of her pastel paintings that convey energy, vitality and movement.
Emerson was raised and educated in Marblehead, Massachusetts. After moving to Central Oregon in 1992, she began taking workshops from pastel artists Harley Brown and Albert Handell. Up to this point, she had worked almost entirely with ink, charcoal and pencil. Discovering pastels and the application of color opened a whole new world of art expression.
Whether the subject is figurative, animal or landscape, her colorful works all share a distinctive attitude, strength and presence. Never content to stick with proven techniques, she is constantly exploring new applications and methods of expression in her art. In recent years, she has experimented with mixed media, meaning that a variety of mediums are used to create a painting. Some paintings are comprised of many layers of abstract elements and are quite complex in their simplicity. The genius is in knowing when to stop, to let the images say just enough to create a sense of mystery and excitement.
This past year, Emerson’s husband, Bruce, completed a brand new studio for her at their home in Central Oregon. This wonderful light-filled space is the fulfillment of a dream and the perfect space to create beautiful art. In preparation for her show at Mockingbird Gallery, Gallery owner Jim Peterson and staff were invited out to see the new studio. This is how Dawn describes her beautiful new space:
“The 1800 square foot studio took six years for Bruce to build from scratch. He designed it and built it as a ‘bucket list’ project but, it is a true gift of love. The first thing people do when they walk in is look at me and remind me how incredibly spoiled I am. Yes, I know. Having the studio makes it possible for me to have all of my tools and supplies under one roof instead of under every bed, in closets, the barn and in every nook and cranny. It is a beautiful and calm space that exudes warmth, space and creativity. We call it ‘First Light Studio’ because the view that greets our eyes each day is the early light on the rocks of Smith Rock State Park. It’s a view definitely worth getting up for!”
Emerson is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience with others, and with her new studio in place, she has the room and space to give workshops and private instruction at her home. She has 25 years of experience teaching drawing and painting and currently teaches foundational drawing as a part-time instructor at Central Oregon Community College in Bend, Oregon.