Saturday, October 31, 2009

Absorb, Absorb, Absorb

11" x 14"
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas

I was going for a little looser style on this painting, a little more relaxed, something to mirror what I was feeling like this week. This canvas had actually been painted on by my three and a half y/o daughter who loves to be out in the studio with me. She had abandoned it and moved onto other artistic endeavors, so I decided to paint over it. There was something about the raw beauty of her background strokes and colors that spoke to me and I tried to preserve that essence. I like how it turned out and think we should collaborate again sometime. :)

"A tree uses what comes its way to nurture itself. By sinking its roots deeply into the earth, by accepting the rain that flows towards it, by reaching out to the sun, the tree perfects its character and becomes great. ... Absorb, absorb, absorb. That is the secret of the tree." ~~Deng Ming-Dao ( Everyday Tao, 1996)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Connected Disconnect

7" x 14"
Watercolor and Mixed Media on Paper

I used this painting to express the unwavering bond you can feel with the ones you love despite not always being on the same page with them. Even when you are disconnected for a time there is always an intangible strength holding you together. That bond is something you can always take comfort in and trust. The peace of mind that brings is sacred. It gives you wings to fly.

“Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. Love still stands when all else has fallen.” Unknown

Thursday, October 29, 2009

River of the Dawn

9" x 9"
Watercolor and Mixed Media on Paper

This week I have been feeling hopeful. I was inspired by Pablo Neruda's Sonnet 49 for this piece:
It's today: all of yesterday dropped away
among the fingers of the light and the sleeping eyes.
Tomorrow will come on its green footsteps;
no one can stop the river of the dawn.

No one can stop the river of your hands,
your eyes and their sleepiness, my dearest.
You are the trembling of time, which passes
between the vertical light and the darkening sky.

The sky folds its wings over you,
lifting you, carrying you to my arms
with its punctual, mysterious courtesy.
That is why I sing to the day and to the moon,
to the sea, to time, to all the planets,
to your daily voice, to your nocturnal skin.

It's today: all of yesterday dropped away
among the fingers of the light and the sleeping eyes.
Tomorrow will come on its green footsteps;
no one can stop the river of the dawn.

It's today, it's today...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quiet and Confusion

11" x 14"x 1.5"
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas
Fine art velvet giclee prints of the orignal are available. Please email me at for more details.

"You are at once the quiet and confusion of my heart." -Franz Kafka

I found this quote written on a tiny notecard while I was cleaning up the studio yesterday. I had saved it a few years back because I loved the sentiment, but only when I stumbled upon it while working on this painting did I know my intention for it. To me, it illustrates what I am trying to say with this painting: how can something, or someone, be so calming, yet cause so much chaos at the same time?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Sixties Show at F6 Gallery

Just found out five of my paintings were accepted in this show in November. Should be a fun one! I hear a lot of people will be dressing up 60's style for the opening reception. Since I will be almost 8 mos. pregnant at that time, I think just making it there will be enough of an accomplishment. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Silent Reverie

8" x 12"
Watercolor and Mixed Media on Paper

Listening to "Angel" by Sarah MacLachlan in the studio stirred a longing for comfort and quiet amidst a very tumultuous time:

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
Theres always one reason
To feel not good enough
And its hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe Ill find some peace tonight
In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room And the endlessness that you fear You are pulled from the wreckage Of your silent reverie
Youre in the arms of the angel May you find some comfort there

"Creepshow" at Kettle Art Gallery

Had a fun time visiting Kettle Art Gallery and seeing all the Halloween-themed "creepy" art at the show. There was a great turnout. Here I am with my painting and mask, in all my 7-months-of-pregnancy-glory (if you want to call it that).

I was excited that my paper mache masked, entitled, "Spooked", sold that evening. I may have to make some more of those little guys!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wise Man's Trees

7" x 14"
Watercolor and Mixed Media on Paper

"A fool does not see the same trees a wise man sees." Rick Hilles

I am experimenting with more works on paper. I find paper to be free and relaxing as I search for new expressive possibilities. Sketching and drawing more, too. Not sure where this creative journey is taking me, but I'm enjoying the ride.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Three Things

"Three Things"
6" x 12"
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas

Don't forget, fine art velvet giclee prints of all original paintings are available. Please email me at for more details.

There is no fear in love… because of faith, hope and love we can live fearlessly. We can reach beyond the fears we have about ourselves and the fears we have about the world. I decided to do a few more paintings in this series because these words are so meaningful to everyone.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

As Within, So Without

9" x 12"
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas
*This painting will be featured at Kettle Art Gallery's "Creepshow". It's a departure from what I've been painting lately, perhaps Halloween had a bit of an influence.

"As Within... So Without" is a magical phrase. As I deal with bouts of pregnancy-induced insomnia, my thoughts are laden with questions of the future. What will I be doing in a few months? Will my unborn son be healthy? Where is my life taking me? The more I listened to my thoughts the more questions they seemed to bring about. How does anyone achieve inner peace? What is life if we are all playing survival of the fittest with each other? As thoughts kept swirling around in my head I found myself in a place of frenetic energy. It was at that time that I realized that, as I was feeling inside, uncertain, and unsettled. I was bringing about those feelings in grander scale.

I began to repeat this phrase over and over and over until I saw what was beginning to happen. I found myself feeling warm and loved. It was as though I was being cloaked and held by the peacefulness of an angel's wings. I looked within my mind and found that I was being caressed by the lull of the words, As within.... So without...

What do these words mean? Could it be that what I think about becomes my reality? Could it mean that the way I feel inside creates the circumstances that surface without? Could it mean that the way I feel inside brings about my truth as I live it? Is this what I am living right now?

As within....... so without, has become my mantra, one that I repeat most especially when I feel overwhelmed with negative emotions. I have realized that what I am thinking and feeling within begins to show up in my physical realm. I use this phrase to guide me and it begins to allow me to be thankful for everything I am and all that I have. I know that if I am thankful, the universe will begin to give me more situations and circumstances for me to be grateful. This then creates a feeling of blissful peace within my mind.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Creepshow" is this Saturday Night!


Come out to a fun art show in Deep Ellum this Saturday night celebrating "All Hallow's Eve". Two of my works, a painting and a paper mache mask, will be featured.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Into the Dark

12" x 12"
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas

Birch trees are fascinating to me. They convey a simultaneous strength and frailty that I can really identify with.

Listened a lot to Death Cab for Cutie's "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" while painting this one, hence the title.

Love of mine
Someday you will die
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark
No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of the spark

If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark

You and me
Have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary
And the soles of your shoes
Are all worn down, the time for sleep is now
But it's nothing to cry about 'cause we'll hold each other soon
In the blackest of rooms

If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark
And I'll follow you into the dark.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Prayers for Healing
6" x 12"
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas

After several requests, my paintings are now available on Etsy. Etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. I am listing everything that's not tied up in a show right now, but more will follow:

Thank you for spreading the word!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Forest of Dreams

18" x 24"
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas

I love the book and movie, "Alice in Wonderland". Even as a little girl, Alice made perfect sense to me. I enjoy watching this movie now through my daughter's eyes and experiencing it in a new way. I was thinking about Alice when I worked on this painting:

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don’t much care where--" said Alice.
"Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you’re sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
(Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Every Breath is a Small Victory

16" x 20"
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas

"If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance."
~Andrea Boydston

Breathing is life. It is one of our most vital functions. From the moment we are born to the moment we die, we breathe. Breath is more important to us than either food or water. We can go weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without oxygen.

I set out to portray an abstract image of breathing, but in it there is so much more. Breathing is something that we, understandably, take for granted, but it is truly a gift. Since my unborn son has been diagnosed with a rare birth defect in his lung, I have become acutely aware of how precious every breath we take is. Every day I think about how when Mack is born, he will have to have surgery to enable him to breathe. He will have to fight for that gift.

However, we are continually encouraged as each day passes because our son Mack is getting stronger in utero and better equipped for the fight. We pray every day he will have a successful surgery and go on to become a healthy and strong little boy. I am due Jan. 25 and it cannot come fast enough. I stood back, looked at this painting and realized it is also conveying a passage of time, a moving from one realm into another. Every day gets us closer and each is a small victory for Mack. Time passes and each day we learn more.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Hold So Much in My Heart for You

12" x 12" x 1"
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

I never knew how much your heart could grow as your family did. The love doesn't divide like I had previously thought--it multiplies. The wonder, dreams, hope and love I have for my husband and children fills spaces in my heart I never knew existed.

"A mother's love is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking, it never fails or falters, even though the heart is breaking." Helen Rice

Thursday, October 15, 2009

There Are Many Paths; None Are Certain

30" x 40"
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

We don't know what is in store for us in life, the only thing we can control is our outlook. I was listening to Dave Matthews in the studio, and "Dancing Nancies" comes to mind when I see this painting finished:
Could I have been anyone other than me?

Twenty three and so tired of life
Such a shame to throw it all away
The images grow darker still
Could I have been anyone other than me? Then I

Look up at the sky
My mouth is open wide, lick and taste
What's the use in worrying, what's the use in hurrying
Turn, turn we almost become dizzy

I am who I am who I am well who am I
Requesting some enlightenment
Could I have been anyone other than me?

Sing and dance I'll play for you tonight
And thrill at it all
Dark clouds may hang on me sometimes
But I'll work it out

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Faith, Hope and Love

12" x 12"
Acrylic and Mixed Media

The powerful and timeless Bible verse spoke to me in this painting:

1 Corinthians 13:1-8a and 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails....And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Custom Holiday Orders

Protected in Dormancy
16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas
Fine art velvet giclee prints of the orignal are available. Please email me at for more details.

I am currently taking custom commissions and holiday orders. I am filling up fast for holiday orders, so if you want something painted by Dec. let me know ASAP. Thank you all for the support and encouragement over the past few months!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Interview in the Dallas Fine Arts Examiner

"Conception", 30 x 40", oil and mixed media

This interview ran recently in the DFAE and I thought it was a good glimpse of where I come from, and where I'm going.

What is your name: Gina Marie Dunn
Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: BFA in Communications from Loyola University New Orleans, Minor in Visual Arts
What is the style of your pieces: My pieces have an organic, earthy quality. I often work simultaneously between an abstract expressionist and a contemporary style. Most of them contain layers that cannot be detected until they are seen at a close-up range. Being a children's art teacher, I am often influenced by the raw and pure qualities that are universally evident in children's art.
What is the medium in which you work: Mainly oils, sometimes combined with acrylics, and often layered on top of mixed media collage
What started you on your path as an artist: I have always considered myself an artist. As soon as I could hold a crayon, my path along the road I'm on began. My mother is an incredibly gifted artist and I have been learning from her ever since I can remember. I didn't play with dolls as a little girl, I played with my mother's paints and often worked alongside of her while she was painting with my crayons.
What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: It has brought me peace within like nothing else can. Art gives me a channel for all of my creative energy and a way to express myself honestly. My art is my attempt to re-humanize the world, a world in which I sometimes feel my voice gets lost. Through each painting I strive to say things with colors and paint that I cannot articulate with words.
What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: Poetry, especially that of Edgar Allen Poe, Pablo Neruda and Margaret Atwood.
Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: This year I have had two showings, one group showing at Rising Gallery in Dallas and one at Buli Cafe. I really enjoyed showing my work at Rising because the Gallery staff there is friendly, helpful and so much fun to be around.
Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: Since I spend the majority of my day chasing after my two children, both under age 3, I am often in comfortable clothes. During naptime I usually run into the studio for a few stolen moments of solitude with my paintings so whatever I have on at that time I just throw an apron over and hope for the best. Most of my "daytime' clothes have paint on them somewhere and I've just accepted that as the cost of doing business.
What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist: I wish I had more hours in the day to spend making art. I miss being able to sketch on a regular basis.
What is your favorite sandwich of all time: A grilled cheese from Highland Park Pharmacy.
Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: I consider looking at my paintings like listening to an old favorite song...seeing one instantly takes me back to the place in life where I was when I created them. Since taking a few years off from painting when the kids were born, I have recently begun actively pursuing it again and have noticed that there is a shift in the tone of my pieces. A lot of the chaos and loneliness in my former pieces is gone. Whatever style I am working in, I have noticed that the works contain a more feminine, organic, almost maternal quality that was not evident in my pieces before. This presence in my work can only be attributed to the contentment I feel by my wonderful husband and growing family.
Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: Joseph Cornell. I love to get lost in the intricate worlds he creates in his shadow boxes. I named my studio, "Utopia Pkwy. Art Studio", after the street where Joseph Cornell grew up. Webster's dicionary defines "utopia" as "an ideally perfect place" which is exactly where I am when I am working in the studio.
What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: Matisse's "Ivy in Flowers". I have used pictures of this work when I teach fine art lessons to students, but to witness it in person is a different experience entirely. The size of it makes you feel like a fly on a wall full of dancing color.
Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: I have two rescue dogs named Jackson and Brooklyn. My studio has a doggie door and whenever I work out there Jackson is usually sitting right next to my feet and Brooklyn pops in from time to time when she's not chasing squirrels in the back yard to cool off and check out what I'm working on. Currently I'm painting a pet portrait for a friend and i think this has been their favorite endeavor of mine so far.
Do you have any up coming exhibitions you would like to share with us: I am just taking down an exhibition at Buli Cafe on Cedar Springs and currently working on building up my body of work.

Tethered Seeds of Hope

32" x 40"
Two canvas panels, 16" x 20" each
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas

With this work, I explored issues of connectivity amidst a sea of the unknown. This painting was inspired by the many people who are pulling together to hope and pray for my unborn son, Mack, who will need surgery to repair his lung when he arrives in January. The background layers in this painting contain actual copies from the doctor's medical journals that he asked us to read after he diagnosed Mack's condition. Of course I read them, but I didn't feel right about throwing them away and I also didn't want them sitting around within reach reminding me of the long and difficult journey ahead, so I tore them up and added them to many of my paintings. In a sense I was processing them in the only way I know how...through my art.

Gina Marie Dunn, Utopia Pkwy. Art Studio's Fan Box


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