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Michelle Dunaway, Artist

By July 1, 2024No Comments

July 2024

Michelle Dunaway is an American artist whose paintings are revered for their bold brushwork yet sensitive portrayal of emotions that capture the human experience. Dunaway exhibited a strong penchant for drawing the human form from a young age and that fascination has continued throughout her life and career. Her artwork has been featured in international exhibitions and publications including Fine Art ConnoisseurArt of the WestInternational ArtistAmerican Art CollectorSouthwest Art, and American Artist.

Dunaway’s work has received numerous awards and honors including Finalist and Award of Exceptional Merit at the 2010 Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition for her painting Katie and Jenni -The Daughters of Jane Seymour;  a Certificate of Excellence from the Portrait Society of America in 2014 and 2017; Finalist and Award of Exceptional Merit at the 2016 and 2108 Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition; and Finalist in the Art Renewal Center’s ARC Salon Competition 2019 winning the American Legacy of Fine Art Award.

Dunaway receives invitations to give painting demonstrations, lecture, and teach internationally and these events attract artists who travel from around the world to study with her. Believing strongly in “passing on the torch” of  knowledge in painting, she takes time from her busy schedule of shows and exhibitions to accept these invitations when possible. “It is extremely important to me that the legacy of strong painting continues for future generations,” Dunaway states. “I have always been passionate about pursing excellence in my own work and constantly growing as an artist, and I feel a strong calling to help others reach their full potential as well. For me, creating great art is about putting light into the world. It is of course capturing the light that falls on a subject and translating that luminosity into the painting, but it’s also about shining light whenever possible through teaching and passing on wisdom.” After one such painting demonstration at the Portrait Society conference in 2015, Dunaway met and had a conversation with Richard Ormond,  John Singer Sargent’s grand-nephew. He told her something that touched her heart deeply, considering she reveres Sargent as her favorite painter. Ormond mentioned he had been in the audience and watched her main-stage painting demonstration. “I have spent most of my life concerned about preserving the legacy of  Sargent’s painting,” he said, “but after watching you paint I am no longer worried.” That was a profoundly meaningful moment for Dunaway and a great confirmation that she was spending her time wisely in teaching, volunteering, and mentoring in the arts while constantly pursuing higher levels of skill in her own painting.

Click here to view the winners selected by Michelle Dunaway in the July 2024 PleinAir Salon Art Competition.