Dawn Whitelaw maintains a studio at “The Factory” in Franklin, Tennessee. The opportunity to paint “en plain air” with colleagues from the Cumberland Society of Painters, adds richness and honesty to her studio work. For over 25 years she taught basic principles of oil painting as an adjunct instructor at David Lipscomb University. Most of her formal instruction comes from continuing study with New York painter; Everett Raymond Kinstler. Other influential teachers include Jim Pollard, Cedric Egeli, Scott Christensen, T. Allen Lawson and Quang Ho.. She was awarded “Best in Show” at the 2001 National conference of the Portrait Society of America. Whitelaw is one of ten American women artists invited to participate in “Inspiring Figures” at the Butler Institute of American Art in 2010.
I paint in response to something that “catches my eye.” I am looking for the moment when the light, atmosphere, or viewpoint displays the commonplace in an uncommonly interesting way. I try to capture this moment on canvas. The process of painting, whether I am painting a portrait in my studio or painting in a field at dusk, is always exciting and challenging. As a painter, I am always a student, eager to learn more about my craft so I can speak more eloquently in paint. My paintings, if nothing else, are an honest, emotional statement of what I see. Although my aesthetics are linked to the painters at the turn of the last century, I feel like I am a modern artist. What could be more modern than to paint in response to the world I live in.