Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mark Your Calendar

You want to be a good gift give-r. Something unique. Memorable. Personal. 

Nothing quite fits the bill for such an occasion as a piece of original artwork.  Purchasing a piece of art with a story all its own is only the beginning. The legacy continues when you weave that piece into your own life and the lives of others.

Your support of the arts through thoughtful gift-giving means so much.  I am excited to have three paintings in this fun, holiday- inspired show at RISING Gallery that will help you pick up some artwork from several prominent local Artists at quite a steal, which may even leave you with enough cha-ching to treat yourself, too. 

The best part is the majority of proceeds from this sale will go directly to benefit the Museum of Biblical Art.  I hope to see you at the opening reception tomorrow night, but if you can't make it, the show will hang until 12/20. 
Texas Sculpture Association 
(at RISING Gallery)
 MOTA 8x8 - 2011

A Holiday Art Exhibit benefiting
 december 1 // 6-9pm
 40+ unique works of 8" x 8" art by prominent local artists.
each piece available for purchase at $250.
(a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Museum of Biblical Art)

Thanks to all the artists for participating:
Scott Armstrong, Jan Ayers, Jim Bowman, Diana Chase, Marvin Crow, Kiki Curry, 
Leigh Harrison, Robert Hold, Sonali Khatti, Chris Lattanzio, 
Bonny Leibowitz, Christian MilletDiana Morrison, Nan Phillips, 
Joel Sampson, Shelley Smith, Nancy Uline, James Welsh, Linda Ford,
Dana S. Whitney, Morton Rachofsky, Jamie Pink, George Tobolowsky, Christina Neuser,
Marilyn Biles, Linda Chidsey,Teri Lueders, Vet Vet, John Borys, Luis Fernando Camacho,
Susan Sponsler-Carstarphen, Gina Marie Dunn, Jeanne C. Neal.
and the kids from Yavneh Academy.

Rising Gallery
, at 800 Jackson in Downtown Dallas, will host the event on December 1, 2011,
from 6 to 9 p.m
.  Afterward, the art may be viewed and purchased as available through
December 20, 2011 during normal gallery hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
Saturday , 11a.m.-4p.m.  And by appointment.     

 for more information visit:

800 Jackson (lower level)   .    Dallas, TX 75202
                  214.559.4158    .             

Gallery Hours
Tuesday-Friday 10a-5:30p
Saturday 11a-4p and by appointment

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Somewhere Near Water Valley, TX

Just returned from five days in West Texas, a Thanksgiving tradition that we look forward to every year.  

Completely unplugged. Closest neighbor lives 30 minutes away. Roasting marshmallows, riding in the pickup, telling and retelling stories, chasing wildlife and rainbows, enjoying the comforts of family, a fiery hearth and a loving home. On a clear day you can see forever. Grateful.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Space Between: New Painting

8" x 8" x 1.5"
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas
Available for purchase via Etsy

I was playing in the studio on some small canvases, painting and printing with different colors and textures. The two human-like forms on this one emerged completely by accident. What is even more surprising is that the cross formation between these did as well. 

God leaves us spaces in which to create, and it is by this grace that I carve out the time in my day to paint and create. He manifests when we least expect, reminding us that there is something more than us. This is such a comforting sentiment as I often feel like the space between my husband and I grows vast as we both manage busy careers and life with three children. But it is in that space where there is a bond to which we can always return. 

The Space Between lyrics
Songwriters: Matthews, David J; Ballard, Glen;

You cannot quit me so quickly
Is no hope in you for me
No corner you could squeeze me
But I got all the time for you, love

The space between the tears we cry
Is the laughter keeps us coming back for more
The space between the wicked lies we tell
And hope to keep safe from the pain

But will I hold you again?

These fickle, fuddled words confuse me
Like, will it rain today?
Waste the hours with talking, talking
These twisted games we're playing

We're strange allies with warring hearts
What a wild-eyed beast you'll be
The space between the wicked lies we tell
And hope to keep safe from the pain

But will I hold you again?
Will I hold?

But the space between where you're smilin' high
Is where you'll find me if I get to go
The space between the bullets in our firefight
Is where I'll be hiding, waiting for you

The rain that falls splash in your heart
Ran like sadness down the window into your room
The space between our wicked lies
Is where we hope to keep safe from pain

Take my hand 'cause we're walking out of here
Oh, right out of here, love is all we need, dear

The space between what's wrong and right
Is where you'll find me hiding, waiting for you
The space between your heart and mine
Is the space we'll fill with time

10 Things Artist Should Be Thankful for

Indian corn paper sculptures created by my 5-6 y/o Art Stop students.
Seasonal art at its finest!
“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. ”  
Lionel Hampton

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Sylvia White shares her list on Art Propelled of the 10 things artists should be thankful for.  I have this list tacked up my studio and have been looking at it when I reach stopping points.  As Artists, we are often focused in the future, on our next project, our next show, our next opportunity...focusing on this list helps bring me back to the present moment and the fulfillment that this God-given talent brings. 

1. I am thankful that I am not one of the majority of people in this world that
wakes up every morning, goes to a job they hate, just to come home and do it all
over again.

2. I am thankful that when I am away from my studio, my ideas come with me, they
keep me company everywhere I go.

3. I am thankful for this passion that gives me so much joy (and angst) but mostly

4. I am thankful that when I have left this earth, I will leave something meaningful

5. I am thankful that I have a mind that can not sleep, I will never be bored.

6. I am thankful that there is a part of my life that nobody can control, except

7. I am thankful that no one in the world can ever take this gift from me.

8. I am thankful that I am brave, it takes courage to pursue my gift.

9. I am thankful that I am never satisfied, it forces me to move forward and grow.

10. I am thankful I discovered this list!

Please share this list with the other creative souls who have touched your life.  Happy Thanksgiving! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Inside his head

A 'starving artist' during his abbreviated life, selling just one painting before his life abruptly ended in his early thirties, Van Gogh's paintings would posthumously realize the highest price ever paid for a work of art.

How is that possible? I speculate because he painted with such passion and purity and fervor, not because he wanted to make money, but because he wanted to make art. It was in him to create. Whether his talent was recognized during his life or post-humously was of no matter to him because he simply could not NOT paint. 

Painting was the one medium by which he was able to express himself to the fullest. Though he suffered greatly, Van Gogh used his art as a channel to reach inner peace, to quiet the whirling of his mind.  It came from a genuine, authentic, place.

Below are a few photos of the homage to "Starry Starry Night" mural that my mom and I painted in the nursery that once belonged to each of my three children. Viewing these and thinking of the dawn of each of my children's lives fills my heart with longing and hope. 

I hope that gazing on this wall as they lay in their cribs all bundled and safe helped them soak up in their bones the message to follow their dreams and lead a life full of passion and love. In doing so, they will find their Truth.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Newly Commissioned Painting, "Creating a Sacred Space"

25" x 58"
Acrylic and mixed Media on Canvas
Private Collection of Nancy Rabe
Fine Art Giclee Prints available here

When Nancy came to the art studio to pick up this painting, she jokingly said, "Thank you for my baby!", but she actually hit the nail on the head with her remark.  Parting with my pieces reminds me of the feeling of giving birth, in a sense that you are sending a piece of you out into the world, off to live a life of its own after you have so lovingly worked on its development.  But it is absolutely a labor of love. 
A shot of the painting in progress, which I stretched on the wall of my art studio. 

The title of this painting comes from an infusion of a few elements that came together.  When Nancy approached me to create a piece, she was looking for something to fit the entryway of her newly built home, one she and her husband had designed and watched go up over the past year. Nancy already had an image in mind of this beautiful landscape, majestic in its serenity. As I explained my process to her and in an attempt to make the painting more personable and meaningful, I asked her to provide me with building plans of the house, which I made multiple copies of and used in the background to build depth and texture.  The plans are almost completely covered up, but there are places in which these are barely visible, like on the tree trunks toward the center/right here:

In addition to being a woman who is dedicated to her family and career, Nancy is an advanced yoga practitioner and teacher who I have had the pleasure of getting to know at Exhale through our mutual love of yoga. In fact, we both realized we were twins in class one day when we showed up wearing the same pink t-shirt that said the words, "sacred space" on them. Our friendship has unfolded into a beautiful and natural appreciation and respect for one another and the joy that comes from our spirited family of yoga practitioners. 

The notion of a sacred space is complex, encompassing a range of aspects: architecture, geography, core beliefs, community stories, and not least of all the receptivity of one’s soul. When several of these elements come together, the results are breathtaking. I felt that through the loving and thoughtful construction of their home, Nancy was creating this space, a sacred space, for her family and the legacy they will leave.

Sacred truths require faith. G. K. Chesterton has described the phenomenon of faith as being like the sun: one cannot look at it directly, but everything else is seen more clearly because of it. And it is in this domain of knowing and yet not knowing, of understanding more than we can explain, of mystery, that sacredness resides.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Omni Hotel Grand Opening Showcases Local Artists

Who's attending the "DEFINITELY DALLAS" ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel today? Over 7,000 sculptures, paintings, and drawings grace the hotel -- all by local artists. This project was spearheaded by Creative Directors/Artists Frankie Garcia and Jeremy McKane, of FGIII Art and McKane Consulting. Due to their efforts to launch this massive project off the ground that began over a year ago, the new Omni Hotel will feature original work by local artists instead of typical "hotel-art" which often is synonymous with bland and unmemorable cookie-cutter prints. This effort is going to give a heart and soul, to the Omni one with a palpable beat of Dallas Culture.

Several local artists were commissioned to create all of the artwork in the new Omni Hotel and I am humbled to have my paintings featured among such a wonderful group of talent! Here is a sneak peek of some of my 25 paintings to be featured.

It's going to be so exciting to see the artwork unveiled today. See you later!

The Omni Hotel Convention Center

555 South Lamar Street DallasTX 75202
Friday, November 11, 2011 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (CT)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Other Creative Souls: Dallas' Bonny Leibowitz

The Deep 24x24 encaustic wax, monotype on kozo and photography

I have been following the artwork of Bonny Leibowitz for over a year now, and every time I see one of her ethereal pieces, my heart sings.  Check out her latest body of work at Rising Gallery's Grand Re-Opening tomorrow evening from 6:30 - 9.   
Here is Bonny's story.  

Describe your work in one sentence. 
I am interested in creating visually seductive works that speak to the organic quality of relationships both interpersonally and in nature utilizing a variety of materials and techniques including monotypes, photography and encaustic wax. 

What's your normal day like?
 I have two teaching studios, The Bonny Studio; teaching oil and acrylic painting and The Encaustic Center teaching painting with wax. I keep super busy assisting students with technique and concept, organizing classes, workshops and shows. I fit in as much creative “me” time as possible in-between my commitments here and ideally, that amount of time would be more abundant. 

What are your passions? 
Streaming Consciousness 30x30 photography,
monotype and encaustic wax
My passion is art, creating it, looking at it and learning all I can. I am constantly refining and evolving concept and technique. Through the process of creating, ideas emerge and I make every effort to push further especially when that means purchasing lots of new supplies; another passion. My recent work involves monotypes which I have done in several mediums but have recently purchased a “HOTbox” to create these with. This new piece of equipment allows for large works to be pulled on fabulous Japanese handmade papers.  In addition, I am working with photography, large images I incorporate into the work on a thin, fine paper which becomes somewhat transparent. In my latest body of work I’m exploring elements in nature; trees, fur, mountains and water, to name a few, taking on new shapes as they interact and procreate.

What are your goals? 
 I am most interested in seeing where the work will go visually and how far I can push the compositions and concepts to become more dynamic and alluring. I look forward to spending more time creating and hope to make new connections for the work to be seen.

Who are your creative influences?
I spend lots of time looking, finding qualities I feel an attachment to and then allow those influences to emerge in a natural manner without forcing the issue. I’ve always loved Cy Twombly, Anselm Kiefer and Judy Pfaff, to name a few. Lately I’ve been enjoying the compositions of Albert Oehlen.

Are there any other relevant experiences that shaped who you are today and what you do?
If I could think of times that have affected my work the most, they would be the challenging times, times of personal struggle where I allowed the emotions to emerge in the work taking particular shapes and colors; the consequence of those actions becoming an important turning point to build on.

What's your working style? 
Often times I find late night painting the best, no interruptions with time to create and think things through. I can work many hours straight through when all is right in my world.

What are your websites/social networking links?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Newly Commissioned Painting, "Root Your Feet in the Ground; Scatter Your thoughts in the Wild Air""

52" x 52"
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas
Private Collection of Melissa and Mark Margolin, Dallas TX

"The creative mind plays with the objects it loves."
Carl Jung

I was commissioned to do this piece for a couple who was drawn to my painting, below, after seeing it in Origin Magazine's September/October issue: 

They needed more earthy tones and wanted a large square size to compliment the color scheme in their entryway and this piece was born.  

The title comes loosely from something my yoga teacher emphasizes frequently. It is so beautiful to realize how much the physical practice of the asanas, or poses, translates to life off the mat.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

PROGRESSIONS: A Collaboration of ART and HEALTH

Thanks to all who cam out on Saturday night for the opening of our group art show and the debut of the collaborative art effort known as The Seven Project.  Friendships were forged, relationships created, consciousness was raised through the support of the Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School and art was enjoyed (and purchased!) by many. Here's a shot of the group who made it all happen:

Photo courtesy of Liz London
We had an awesome turnout and the energy of the event was palpable.  A few of our collaborative pieces our still available for purchase, such as this one:

Multifaceted Spirit
Mixed Media on 140lb watercolor paper (framed)
18 x 24

As well as some of our individual artwork, including a piece of mine, below:
A Platform for Consciousness
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas
24"x 28"

As well as this lovely assemblage by Artist Liz London:

I Surrender to the Pattern
Mixed Media Collage on Board
8" x 10"

Art Directors Christian Millet and Nix Johnson are already planning the next event. If you are a Dallas area artist that would be interested in participating, shoot an email w/ a few samples of your artwork and any relevant info to If you know of any artists that might be interested, please forward or repost this.

In the meantime, our works will be on display through this week and possibly next.
Please visit Classic Pilates to check them out, and, if you're feeling adventurous, take a ride on one of those crazy reformer machines. :)
Classic Pilates is located at
3303 Lee Parkway
Dallas, TX 75219

Monday, November 7, 2011

SoCal: San Diego, La Jolla, Del Mar

Spent an amazing long weekend in Southern California 
with Mr. D. 

Old friends, new babies, memorable meals, romantic sunsets, art and museums that redefined light and space, yoga that challenged and renewed...
Every time I leave California I feel a palpable longing for the ocean. I can't wait to go back. 

Soaked it all in my bones and returned home relaxed and inspired, full of gratitude for my beautiful children and the life I love.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Other Creative Souls: Carolyn Collins

There's one more Artist I wanted to highlight before the debut of our Art Show, The Seven Project, Saturday night: Carolyn Collins. Carolyn and I had never met before we began working together on The Seven Project, but in her I have found an unbelievable talent (check out her conceptual portraiture, the image, below, has unofficially become "the"branded image for our upcoming show), beautiful creative spirit and someone I am proud to call a friend. Here's her story:

Name: Carolyn Collins
Occupation: Owner, photographer and artist at Carolyn Collins Photography

Current City/Hometown: Dallas, TX / Abilene, TX

Education: Hardin-Simmons University - BBA Marketing/Management

Describe  your work in one sentence.
I am a light chaser, seeking light that beckons the heart.

Describe your normal day.
My *normal* 18-22 hour day begins with espresso on the balcony while I read/answer e-mails, return phone calls, juggle my schedule & update my calendar. The rest of the day/night is creating order out of chaos. It is a methodical routine of avoiding the routine by utilizing my gifts of ADD, OCD, left/right ‘brainism’ and goofy optimism. Having an intern has not changed my normal day… but has allowed me to create more and accomplish more throughout the week.
My *ideal* day includes a cocktail of laughter, love, physical activity, pleasure for each of my senses, feeling of accomplishment, finding a solution to a problem, making a stranger smile, learning something new, having an ‘aha’ moment, and going to sleep completely exhausted in a good way. I have more ideal days now than I thought possible in my former corporate life.

I am now trying to discern if there is truly much difference between *normal* and *ideal* in each workday, aside from the desire to sleep as long as I would like.

What are your passions?
Music is my drug. Photography is my passion. Building bridges between people is my mission. I love animals and have some strangely compelling affinity toward dogs, horses, elephants, gorillas, dolphins & whales (we simply connect and silently communicate on some higher level). I adore children and elders… and am blessed that they are naturally drawn to me as well. I’m a greenie… repurpose when possible, recycle when unable to repurpose, replant what we reap, etc. (yet I drive a gasaholic that ‘thinks green’ only  when the traffic light is turning yellow).
Who are your creative influences?
My greatest creative influences have sprung forth from various mediums (film, music, painting, etc.). Their genius ability to evoke such deep emotion through their original works open(ed) pathways for me to more clearly ‘speak’ through my lens. Just a few names whose works have profoundly influenced the ‘flavor’ of my photography are: Federico Fellini (film director), Albert Lamorisse (film director), Gregg Toland (cinematographer), David Leeson (Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, mentor and close friend), Steve McCurry (photographer), Dorothea Lange (photographer), Hal Samples  (photographer, mentor and close friend), Ansel Adams (photographer), Robert Mapplethorpe (photographer), Boris Vallejo (painter/illustrator), Mark Rothko (painter), Frank Lloyd Wright (architect), Marguerite Duras (writer), Mozart (music composer), and an enormous list of musical composers/musicians (several whom have become dear friends).

Are there any other relevant experiences that shaped who you are today and what you do?
My parents (especially my dad) had very giving and forgiving hearts. If dad met someone in need, he would hire him/her (even if it meant creating a position). If he encountered someone in pain, he would counsel them and ‘turn on a light’ so they could through their darkness. My travels around the world allowed me to live in other cultures and develop my intense curiosity for different perspectives. It is the painful, the challenging and the traumatic experiences in my life which have led me to a much deeper understanding of (and appreciation for) the preciousness of fellow humans, fragile moments, and life itself.

Is there anyone you really look up to as an inspiration?
My dad, Albert Einstein, Herb & Dorothy Vogel, John Romero, Johnny Cash, Liv Ullman & my best friend (each for very different reasons).

How do you summon your muse?                                                                                                             
Dance under the influence of, and frequent nearly overdosing on, a steady stream of drugs (music is my drug, remember?). What kind of music? Um, do you have half a day for me to list all the genres and instruments in the world? Submerse myself into nature. Look deeply into a person’s eyes.  Drive my car. Close the eye my contact lens lives in so I can see through the blurred vision of the other near-sighted eye. Watch or listen to someone else quietly create.

What motivates you on a daily basis?
I’ve been given a new day… that, in itself is motivation. I am addicted to espresso, but can’t think of a ‘guilty’ pleasure that gets me going, but let’s just say that I find much pleasure in simple things. ;)

What's your working style?
It depends on what I’m doing. As a full-time freelance photographer, I am an artist and a business owner. If I am tackling the necessary tedium, I will take frequent breaks so I don’t screw up. Yet during those breaks I am still being productive in some way…  exercising, cleaning, checking e-mails, cooking, uploading images, reading, something. If I am creating (shooting, editing, writing, etc.), I may be so in the zone that 10hours pass before I realize it, and I’ll take a long break by either switching creative gears to another medium, letting my mind wander in nature, soaking in a hot tub, or hanging with friends. I have learned to go with the flow of my ADD/OCD, let it take the lead. Since I have learned this, I have accomplished much more in less time on a regular basis.

What are your websites/social networking links?
I’m also on Wordpress, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Myspace, Reverbnation

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


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