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Dawn Yoshimura

ABOUT US > PAST EXHIBITIONS > NEW YORK 2014 > The participants

Dawn Yoshimura
I come from the Hawaiian Islands where Western and Asian cultures combined into a unique cosmopolitan culture.  The Islander’s point of view, together with my Japanese heritage informs my work, and can be seen in my preference for off-center composition and a deep appreciation for Japanese aesthetics.
 When you come from a remote island, no matter how beautiful, you are always compelled to look out to sea both in anticipation as well as a longing to see past the horizon and make contact. I suppose that is why I like to paint mountains and the sea—mountains offers the comfort of the anchor and water offers possibilities. The familiar and the unfamiliar. I could easily paint every morning for the next 10 years my beloved Ko’olau Mountains and Kane’ohe Bay where I grew up. Yet, I get excited when I travel and can capture the feel and sense of a place in a plein air painting. I return home every winter but while I am in Sweden, my current home, I love to walk the Scandavian West Coast landscape and capture the light that  Anders Zorn was known for.
 My process is one of observation and reflection upon my spontaneous reaction to a place.  I try to try to capture that feeling or sensation in my paintings of the landscape. As the islander stands on the shore waiting for some sign—I hope viewers of my work feel the same sense of the familiar or, alternatively, the sense of promise that particular landscape conjurs up in me, because, then the communication is complete and we have connected.
 I have always drawn from nature and real life, and enjoy exploring textures in painting. I moved to San Francisco to study at Rudolph Schaeffer’s School of Design on a scholarship, eventually earning a Bachelor’s from the California School of Art. Although formally trained, I am a self-taught watercolourist and plein air painter.  I enjoy watercolour because it suits my temperment and process. It forces me to make choices and to be honest. It also helps me to be brave, by throwing away pieces that don’t work. I also work in encaustic, casein and oils.
 Just now I am fascinated by trees in all seasons and am exploring its form in different media. If mountains and water are symbolic for the mind, trees are symbols for our individuality and character.

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