Dawn Wicklow believes that creating art can bring more focus to what is beautiful in the world, and in so doing, help make it a more loving and peaceful place. For nearly 30 years her avenue for artistic expression was as an actor/singer performing everything from Shakespeare to Opera. Then, in April of 2012, she took a Chinese Brush Painting class, and visual art, her true calling, made itself known to her. In April of 2013 she quit her day job, and moved to her cabin in North Fork, North Carolina, to be alone for a year to paint 8-16 hours a day to learn her craft and begin her art business. Her first sales came from selling hand painted cards at a Mountain City flea market, five years later she had a solo exhibit at the Jones House in Boone. For five years she split her time between Florida and North Carolina, continuing to take classes, doing festivals, and teaching workshops. As of April, 2018, she lives full time in her beloved North Carolina mountains.
She was drawn to the elegant brush strokes and spiritual nature of East Asian Brush Painting and studied with Sharon Bennett, who became her mentor, then took additional workshops with Yuming Zhu, Teri Chin, Freda McCain, and Lian Quan Zhen. Cathy Taylor and June Rollins introduced her to alcohol inks on Yupo (a non-porous plastic paper), and she has developed techniques to incorporate Asian brush strokes and a meditative approach to those vivid colors and fluid nature. She says, “… alcohol-based inks seem to have a mind of their own, flowing and mixing in often unexpected ways…paying attention to what the inks reveal often yields the most interesting paintings.” She works with other mediums as well, including watercolors, oils, encaustic wax, and collage.
Sharing her joy of painting is important to her so she teaches various workshops including Introduction to Alcohol Ink and Introduction to East Asian Brush Painting. She especially loves working with people who have never painted before, or who at some point in their lives were told they had no talent for art. It is her belief that we are all born with talent and creativity, and she loves seeing that spark come alive in people who are willing to push through their fear and open up to the possibilities they have inside.
Her art has been accepted in juried art shows and exhibits, highlights include: 2017- Jones House, Boone, NC, (solo exhibit “From the Street to Jones House”), and Okeechobee (Judge’s Choice Award); 2016- “It All Started At Leu Gardens”, a solo exhibit for the City of Orlando, the Blowing Rock Historical Society’s Artist in Residence program at Edgewood Cottage, and The Ashe County Studio Arts Tour; 2015-The Virginia Highlands Juried Fine Arts Festival Exhibit (Best in Show, People’s Choice Award), Blowing Rock “Art in the Park” (Honorable Mention), Arts league of Orange County exhibits (Charles Turzak & 2nd Place Awards); Orlando Museum of Art’s “First Thursday” exhibits (People’s Choice Award); & 2014- “The Best of the Blue Ridge”, Ashe County Arts Council, West Jefferson, NC