Dawna-Lea back for third Tour

Tour of the Arts 2011 is upon us this weekend! The event is happening July 31, and will feature a handful of participating artists at scenic venues, making for an exciting day all-around.

A painted gourd

A painted gourd

Tour of the Arts 2011 is upon us this weekend! The event is happening July 31, and will feature a handful of participating artists at scenic venues, making for an exciting day all-around.

Back again for a third year as part of the tour is Dawna-Lea, a Columbia Valley painter.

Dawna-Lea and her works will be on display at the Swansea Ranch during the tour date.

“I am self taught and can’t remember a time that I haven’t been creating,” said Dawna-Lea.

As a child, Dawna-Lea had always searched for ways to achieve creative outlets. Paint and drawing supplies were somewhat easy to come by for her, and became her major creativity support tools.

It was a move to Golden in the 1980s, though, that gave Dawna-Lea the perfect opportunity to focus her creative energies, as she found herself living on a property overlooking the lush wetland areas.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Dawna-Lea’s favourite painting subjects and inspirations are the marvels of nature around her and her home, animals especially.

“I like to concentrate on the animal and simplify its surroundings,” said Dawna-Lea. “In a number of my paintings I play with how connected plants, animals and the elements are. If I can get a viewer to pause for a few extra moments to travel into the painting I figure I have shared my gift.”

Dawna-Lea works mainly with acrylic and watercolour paints. However, besides painting on a canvas, she also enjoys working on rocks, wood, and fabric.

“About a year ago I was attracted to gourds and started using their surfaces as a canvas,” she added. “I love working with other materials, such as leather and duffle which I bead and make into moccasins, mittens, and a variety of pouches. I also collect natural materials and make baskets and other containers.”

With this being her third year on the tour, Dawna-Lea admits that setting up work displays can take a lot of effort, but it’s very much worth it.

“I keep participating in the Tour of the Arts because it is a special way to celebrate our valley,” she said. “Every year has been better than the year before; the organizers and volunteers do a wonderful job for both the artists and the visitors.”

As for what Dawna-Lea hopes visitors to her display take away from her works, she said the following: “I hope the people that come and visit my displays will find looking at the artwork inviting, relaxing, and, intriguing — an enjoyable moment to slow down before they move on to the next artwork display.  Artwork should evoke emotion and feed our senses.”

For more information on Dawna-Lea, visit onesparrowimages.com.

For more information about Tour of the Arts 2011, visit columbiavalleyarts.com

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