Animals of the Southwest at the NM Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum
Dinah Swan's 33 pastels of southwest animals is now exhibited at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, NM. Show runs through August 4, 2019
BIO FOR DINAH SWAN
Dinah Leavitt Swan has been a creative artist her whole life beginning as a dancer and actress. She earned a Ph.D. in theatre (her published dissertation is on feminist theatre of the 1970s) and worked as a director and university professor for over two decades. Dinah is the author of five novels* and nineteen plays all of which are produced, six won national awards.
Dinah, who draws artistic inspiration from nature, paints exclusively with pastels. She prefers animal subjects and southwestern landscapes. “Animals inspire me. I find pure joy in creating their images. I smile almost constantly while painting them and have been known to talk to them. A little.”
Her work has been juried into many art’s organizations shows. A solo show of 33 of her paintings, ANIMALS OF THE SOUTHWEST, are now featured at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum Gallery in Las Cruces, NM. She has donated many pet portraits to groups raising funds to assist animals.
In summer, 2016 Dinah Swan had a one woman show of forty paintings at the Bowman Hall Gallery in Durango, CO. Her animal paintings have been exhibited at the Durango Arts Center and in Pastel Society of New Mexico annual shows. Las Cruces’ Tombaugh Gallery exhibited 38 of her animal paintings in March and April of 2017. The New Mexico Art League accepted two of her prints for its summer, 2017, “Limited Editions” exhibition, and one print, “Jack” was favorably reviewed in the Albuquerque Journal, 8/5/17.
Dinah lives in Durango with husband, Terry, and dog, Gracie.
*Enter Dinah Swan in the www.Amazon.com search box
Dinah Swan Artist Spotlight 2/2017
Artist Spotlight in -Picacho Living- magazine, February 2017
Family: husband, Terry Swan (USAF ret. Colonel) and Gracie 2 yr. old heeler mix
Profession(s): Retired college professor. PhD in Theatre; artist
Artist Name: Dinah Swan
Artist Website: --dinahswan.com
Artist Email / Phone: DinahSwan@aol.com 970-247-1995
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in art? Have you taken any art classes?
I became an artist after my Durango Arts Center President of the Board husband asked me if I wouldn’t like to take an art class at the Center to make sure it had adequate enrollment. I did. It was an acrylic painting class, and I was clueless. I painted my dog and my effort was not too bad. Considering. I took more classes and importantly, private drawing lessons, before landing in Lorraine Trenholm’s pastel studio where I have worked for four years.
2. What is your preferred medium and why? Pastels (which are dry paint of all colors—compressed pigment with a binder and not chalk)
3. Do you have an online portfolio or a blog where we can view your work?
Yes, a website. Dinahswan.com
4. Do you have a favorite artist? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?
Almost any of the French impressionists. The loose quality—suggestive not realistic and American modern/contemporary art.
5. Can you remember one of the first things you drew/sculpted/painted/photographed etc.? What makes it memorable? First painting of dog, Brewsky. Not great but it showed me I could learn to paint.
6. This being primarily an author’s blog, I would like to ask if you’ve ever designed any artwork for an author (cover image, maps, interior art - including font styles - etc.)? If not, would this be something you’d be interested in doing?
However, I am the author of five novels, twenty plays and a published doctoral dissertation. Four of the novels can be found at Amazon.com by inserting Dinah Swan in the search box. I started writing women’s fiction with Romantic Fever, a middle age-coming of age story of a woman who must reinvent herself. Hacienda Blues followed and is the tale of 3 southern women who leave Mississippi for northern New Mexico. They buy an old hotel in the middle of nowhere. What could possibly go wrong? The next 3 books are the Mary Alice Tate Southern Mystery series: Cana Rising, Now Playing in Cana and Cana Crossroads. Amateur sleuth solves crimes through deep connections in north Mississippi.
Amazon.com will let you preview a bit of each. I hired the cover image and formatting.
7. Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works? The natural world, especially animals. I’ve painted many landscapes, adobe building, cacti, rocks and so on and done portraits but I find joy in rendering animals.
8. Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and discovered a whole new genre of art? How did it turn out? I painted plein air and most looked like salads
9. Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your artwork? In addition to being a college theatre professor I acted, directed and wrote about 2 dozen plays. The work consumed me, and now I do none of that.
I notice many artists are very hard on themselves and critical of their work. Perhaps because I come from a different creative background-theatre-and began painting later in life, I never do this. To me some works are better than others, but they are all amazing and wondrous. That I can do this and get to do it as much as I want is a lifesaver. I was never an athlete and didn’t understand what runners called the zone-that euphoric state of focus and no-thought. I had no zone. However, now when I paint I am in the zone. I have very little ego invested; a surprising state.
10. Where can we reach you if we are interested in commissioning you for our own projects? See info above
11. What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating a masterpiece?
Painting anything not a pure mental image is about learning to see what is really there. The brain fools us. Seeing is hardest. That and knowing when to stop.
12. And finally, I would like to give you this opportunity to share three to five images and tell us a little about each:
Photos appear in the magazine: Survival of the Fittest, Sooooeeee Pig, Just off the Plaza, and Cat on Ink. These four paintings also appear on Dinah’s website.
Dinah Swan Art Review
Albuquerque Journal August 5, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Those longing for the day their prints will come need wait no longer. The New Mexico Art League is hosting “Limited Edition,” an extravaganza of more than 25 print artists.
Because each artist is exhibiting more than one example of his or her work, this review will focus on a handful of outstanding pieces among many others.
Cat pictures can be yawn-inspiring clichés, but in the case of “Jack” by Dinah Swan, we find a very painterly black-and-white print that easily stands up as a nicely done piece of fine art. The strong composition and wonderful use of darks make this a must-stop-and-look image.
Dinah Swan Art Review