Artistic Excellence 2014 | Honorable Mention: Michael Dumas


Michael Dumas, Forgotten Chores, House Sparrow, oil, 5 x 7.

Michael Dumas, Forgotten Chores, House Sparrow, oil, 5 x 7.

What inspired your winning entry? For many years my wife’s parents would come north and spend the summer at our home. My father-in-law was an active person and liked to keep busy, so he painted our house. When he took a break, he had the habit of putting his paintbrush in a container of water to keep it pliable. Years after he was no longer able to travel, I came across a poignant reminder of the past. Hidden away beneath some branches was a casual still life composed of an old aluminum pot containing a paintbrush immersed in water from recently melted snow, a jar, and a plastic food container. As I sat quietly drawing the scene, a sparrow foraged in the leaves nearby. I liked the contrast between the inanimate objects in their silent repose and the gentle presence of life that the bird conveyed.

How does the painting fit in with the rest of your body of work? It expresses a number of common themes and characteristics found in much of my work. It seems to me that there is something quite profound in the simplest of things, and insight and inspiration are there to be found in even humble and easily overlooked subjects. I tend to make associations between the objects I am seeing and something personal in my life.

What artists, living or deceased, have influenced your work? My earliest recollection of admiring a particular painter was through the beautiful birds of Fenwick Lansdowne.

What galleries represent your work? Buckingham Gallery of Fine Art, Uxbridge, ON, Canada.

Featured in the December 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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