Plein air Thursday - 2013

This year my friend and fellow painter, Carol Violanda, and I started a new plein air group in Atlanta that meets up every Thursday. Our motto " We create the group, they will come!"
And so far it has worked out really well. I have made new arts friends and discovered all sorts of new places in Atlanta that I didn't even know existed. Here are few of the highlights of our adventures.
Hope to paint with you in 2014!

Evening with the artist - Nov 21

Meet the Artist 
Wine & Cheese Reception for Dawn KinneyMartin
November 21, 2013 at 5:30pm
Savor Wine Boutique
@Kirkwood Station
1963 Hosea L. Williams Drive #R-103
Atlanta, GA 30317
Phone: 404.254.5044

You're Invited to Sip & Savor!

Each quarter, the walls of Savor Wine Boutique features the works of a local artist which are available for viewing and purchase. Currently showing are the vibrant oil paintings of Dawn Martin. Her work can also be found in the permanent collection at the Harris Arts Center, in regional galleries and in juried fine art festivals across the country. Martin shares her talents with other budding arts as a faculty member at the Savannah College of Art & Design, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center and the Spruill Center for the Arts. Her collection is inspired by photographs of landscapes from her travels, with many of the pieces at Savor Wine Boutique coming from her recent trip to the Italian countryside and vineyards. The public is invited to meet Martin during a special “Evening with the Artist” which will be held in the store on Thursday, Nov. 21 from 5:30-7:30. Space is limited and only open to guests 21 years of age and older. Please confirm your attendance by sending an email to

Kyla Cox, Proprietor

Savor Wine Boutique
@Kirkwood Station
1963 Hosea L. Williams Drive #R-103
Atlanta, GA 30317
Phone: 404.254.5044
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Happy Fall - time to settle into the studio!

Happy Fall! 
I have had a fantastic summer. Enjoyed a lot of traveling, painted in really cool places and  got to hang out with  great friends. Now, with just a few art shows left in the year, I am looking forward to settling into the studio and creating new work for 2014.  

I have been thinking a lot about color lately and my new painting ( I hope ) will reflect this. It all started with  a color confidence workshop I taught over the summer.  I have been trying to really simplify color theory for my students and put it in easy to understand language. How do make it practical for how people really paint? I think this turned out to be one of the best classes I have taught about color, so I am now in the process of creating a second level, Color Confidence 11.  I'm really excited about this class, but haven't gotten it boiled down to the nuts and bolts just yet.

 I really look forward to the time in the studio over the winter. the pressure of sales is off  and I can focus on creating and understanding color.

Happy fall ya'll!

Painting 16 - Mixing work and teaching

Today I needed to work on a commission and I also have to get ready for painting workshop  I'm teaching this Sat. I decided to combine the two and try break down my studio process and see if I could share it with my class. It is so easy to work on automatic pilot and not pay attention to what you are really doing

First composition sketch

 I think this is helpful to set up the space on your canvas. Get control of your composition right off the bat. Make sure you don't have center of focus going in the wrong direction.
Starting to work out a value sketch

 Before you jump right on you canvas, do a little value study. Go ahead and start thinking about your light source. What is your compositional design? What's great about this is that you can make quick decisions, change your mind, and make adjustments.
Making adjustments and feeling better with the values
After looking the my sketch, I decided to pull the tree on the right a little more forward, push the one on the left farther back, and add more shadows in the front. Added a few hills in the back and pushed the mountains back a bit. A little more light in the sky.

This is going to give me a good plan to work on my commission. I need to touch on the elements that are important to them. Now I will have a lot of freedom to create the painting, because I won't be fighting the composition and I can just paint.

Until tomorrow, Dawn

Using your Values to building a composition

I just finished teaching a workshop on painting landscapes and I thought I would share a few tips.

Original photo. This is a scene in France that I am working on.
I often like to make a black and white copy so that I can just focus on the values and not be distracted by the color.

I forgot to photograph Step 1 which was a  monochromatic value study. This is Step 2.

Step 2: now that you have blocked in the large areas of light and dark, check to make sure you like the design of your composition. This is the time to make adjustments. You can know start to build on the information you have down.

Step 3

 Step 3: Working within in the pattern of your light and dark values, start to build the color.
Step 4

 Step 4: continue to build the color, still mindful of your values. You can now begin to add details
Step 5
Step 5: Adding more detail and adjust the colors. If you keep your colors in the correct value range, you will keep the compositional design.

Step 6

Now for the fun to start - laying in the details and rich color. At this point, you are free to paint. You have your foundation set, so have fun.

 I will post the finished painting ASAP

Cheers, Dawn

Commission Finished Just in Time

 Just in the nick of time. This commission is for an  anniversary and I had to deliver it today to make the deadline. Good thing I finished last night! I am happy to say the client loved the painting - see below...

The finished painting 20"x20" Tierra. The happy couple had their engagement party here. What a thoughtful gift. I hope she will love it!
The photo I worked from
People are often amazed at how I can get a painting you may want to look at out of such bad photos! I just image what the scene would look like at a time with interesting light and try to capture that moment. For this one, I was thinking about what it would be like to walk up to this cozy place just as the sun was setting. I am with good friends and were are going to have a great evening.
I also try to add color and texture to the surface of the building to give the viewer something interesting to look at. ( when I've finished my great dinner )
That is the fun of these paintings. 

Now on to Indianapolis for another art show. Hope it goes as well as last weekend.



Great Sales in Tupelo Miss

What a great weekend in Tupelo, Miss. Not only did I get to visit with Elvis, I sold 2 great pieces.

48"x48" Sunday Afternoon at Grandma's.  This is actually my wagon posing for me in the front yard

30" x 40"  Siesta Time. This painting was from Rob and my trip to Italy. Very fond memories with this one

Elvis's birth place. This is a really neat park, so if you find yourself in the area, check it out.

Inside the house

Well that's all for now.


The Process of teaching : Palette Knife Workshop - Landscapes

This is a little bit about my approach to teaching a one day workshop.
 I had a wonderful group show up for a 5 hour workshop today at Spruill. I know that it's a lot of information in a short amount of time. We covered some of the various techniques of the palette knife, along with a little color theory, and composition. 
Okay, maybe I should call it palette knife boot camp. 
I just like the idea of learning new techniques while working on a painting. 
Somethings will work, some not, ahh, that's better than just writing your abc over and over, right?
The first thing I do is work through the painting Alla Prima, which just means I do the painting in one sitting. I work wet paint into wet paint instead of working in stages and allowing paint to dry.
Once I have completed the painting once, I will break it down into stages.  By bringing in several different canvases showing the building process, I hope this will give the class a visual aid as I am lecturing and demonstrating in class.
Now I am ready to teach class.  I start with a talk about composition, value scale, tricks for landscape painting, and just how to prepare the canvas.  Now the class is ready to create their masterpieces.   Well, I  always throw in a little color theory through the class, but just in small doses.

Let the paintings begin!

I have my sample steps up. I hope that these will help show where I am going.  Also, it  is always helpful to see how just messy a palette knife painting can be while you are working on it.
This is one of the paintings I worked on in the workshop today.

I had a wonderful class today. Thank you for all the artists that came out and spent their Saturday with me. Keep up the good work.


New work coming out of the studio. I love this time of year. I have a little break from traveling and get to spend most of my time in the studio. Below are the pieces I am working on right now.
36 x 48 Golden Sky Over Low Tide
24 x 48 Red Trees by the River
40 x 30 White Lilys 
Okay, this one might be more difficult to finish. My still life froze in the studio last night! Brrrr
36 x 48 Red Hot, White Lily and Blue

Having a great time working on new pieces. This year I am working simplifying my subjects and letting the color tell the story. 2012, here I come.


Paintings from the Still Life Workshops last week

 I had 20 wonderful artist join me this past weekend for a palette knife work shop. I had a class  of 10 both days. Below are the demonstrations I completed in class to show the different steps of building a painting. The students were great and really got a lot of work done.
Thanks to all of you wonderful artist for coming out and spending the weekend with me. I hope to see you again!
Still Life #1 - This is my husbands favorite and he wants to hang it in the house. Very Cool
Still Life Demo #2 12 x 16
Still life #3 12 x 16

It is always interesting to see the variety of paintings you can get from one still life. The flowers are still fresh enough, so I started a 36 x 48 of the same still life. I'll post a photo soon.

I Will be offering one more work shop on the Palette Knife Still Life
Saturday, February 18, 10 - 3 pm
Spruill Center for the Arts
5339 Chamblee Dunwoody
More info

 If I wasn't in the spirit of Christmas yet,
 I am now. Santa Cruz is all about the season. Rob and I
 had such a fun time watching the boat parade in the harbor and then riding the  light train through town the next day. Yeah, you might think you are too old to sing carols, but just get on a train with hundreds of folks and see what happens.
The boat parade in harbor
This is the house behind our hotel. It is actually in the parking lot.
The couple is from Greece and apparently the really love decorating for Christmas
ALL A BOARD.  View of the boardwalk taking off on the light train.
Santa's helper
Rob and Dawn on the caboose.
Well, that's all for now folks. Cheers, Dawn

Feature students of the week!

                                                             Kathryn Bomar

                                                            Debbie Ezell  

Both of these students finished a painting in just 3 classes. Congratulations Kathryn and Debbie!!

Well, we have finished classes for the summer.  When classes start back in the fall, I think it will be fun to feature different students every week. Something to look forward to.
Classes will begin at Spruill on September 16th and will still be on Tuesday from 1:00 - 3:30.

                                Artist hard at work on the last class at Spruill Annex.

I want to thank you all for your hard work this summer. Have a great 4th of July and I will see you in September.


A stop over in Scottsboro Alabama

We are back in Atlanta, although the area in Tuscumbia is beautiful, it is nice to be home.
I had a good show and on the way home we stopped in Scottsboro, Al to visit the Unclaimed Baggage store. What fun! We also walked through the town and did a little antiquing. We found a few great deals.  If you are in the area , I highly suggest  a stop over. 

To the  right are photos of my booth from the show and of Spring Park where the  show was held. I would have taken a few photos of Scottsboro, but I packed the camera and could not find it - oops!

4th Annual Art Show at Binders

Every year Binders hosts a gallery opening for my painting students from SCAD Atlanta and Spruill Community Arts Center. We had another great and successful show this year. Seven paintings were sold on opening night.
 Thank you for all those you helped out and made it possible. The food and wine were excellent (thanks to 103 West and Bret Kathey from Icon Estates) and of course there was the great music preformed by Eddie Varsalona!!  
The show will be up through July 2nd. Please stop by if you get a chance.
Binders is located at 
3330 Piedmont Rd
Atlanta GA 30305
404 237 6331