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Dawn Rodger

I've always been interested in art from an early age. It was the thing I was known to be good at while at school; it made it okay to be shy, quiet and not so confident about sport or my scholastic abilities. My family emigrated to Australia when I was 15. I studied art at high school and during my first year at university. I then returned to England but was unable to continue studying art as part of my Psychology degree as it wasn't offered as a subject. I carried on developing my knowledge and painting skills informally. Drawing and painting were and still are a source of comfort and satisfaction. Several years ago, I fell ill suddenly with encephalitis (an inflammation in the brain) ending up in intensive care unable to breathe for myself and with little coordination. Since then, I have relearned how to breathe, talk, eat, write etc and rejoined work and family life. Throughout all this, my painting has provided rehabilitation and an outlet for my frustrations. I become lost in a world of colour and texture and let the frustration and compromises of everyday life melt away. I usually work in oils. I love the smell of linseed oil, the way the paint feels as it smears and the vibrant effects on the colours that glazing can produce. I always use high quality paints usually Michael Harding or Old Holland and usually assemble and prime the canvases myself to ensure that the pictures will be a good long term investment for people. I also protect the pictures with a layer of retouching varnish to keep the colours vivid and rich. I have recently started dabbling with watercolour inks and pastels. This medium produces vibrant colours that are less rich but fresher and cleaner than oils. I am enjoying the contrast.

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