Last October we featured an excerpt from Daughter of Fire, a novel in progress by Dory Fiamingo. Shortly thereafter, Dory received an invitation to exhibit her art, a series of sensual and erotic nudes, at Westwind Frame and Gallery in The Dalles, Oregon. She told us:
“Every time I think my work isn’t a big deal, not really, I think, yeah, how many artists get told by a gallery that they want 11 paintings to display!?! You should have seen the owner greedily grabbing canvases and saying, “I want this one and this one, and definitely this one!”
Dory likes to paint nudes, and she reports the show was a smashing success. When the show ended, Dory had sold one and gotten three commissions. More commissions have followed.
Most recently, Dory has submitted a few pieces in the Artists of the [Columbia River] Gorge competition taking place October 3, 2015 at the public library in Stevenson, Wa. The exhibition will continue through November 7th. One of the pieces is a large painting of Helen of Agralee, the heroine in Daughter of Fire. Painting Helen proved to be a bit of a challenge for Dory, as she doesn’t usually paint clothing, faces, or weapons, but she felt triumphant when the work was completed. “I feel much more confident in the scope of what I can accomplish. It just proves that if you don’t challenge yourself, you won’t know how much you can do.’
As for her writing, Dory is currently working on two new novels while ironing out some wrinkles in Daughter of Fire. It’s great to welcome back Dory Fiamingo, a multi-talented artist, to the Fictional Café.
Note: Please click on each painting to view a larger version.
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What follows is a short study in the painter’s progress. Like other art forms [with the possible exception of stone sculpture], artists work in drafts, changing or revising their work until they’re satisfied with it. Dory shared her process with us in working on the image of Helen of Agralee, the main character in her novel:
“I always paint the background first, smearing the paint over the canvas with my hands. It’s a lot of fun and freeing to use your body in a way most people think is childish. Most of my paintings start with pictures. I sketch with white chalk and the dig into my paints. Then I Zen Out.”
“When I begin, I have a good idea what the painting might look like when it’s done, but I’ve found that when I’m finished there’s always something unexpected and wondrous that happened when I wasn’t looking. Most times those things add hidden depth or character. Like writing, my subjects have a tendency to surprise me–and that’s never a bad thing.”
“I’ve always had a talent for drawing what I see and had a mad love affair with colored pencils and watercolor pencils when I was in high school. I learned about the human body from graphic novels and what real people look like from watching those around me. After all, no one in real life has those teeny tiny waists and huge, impossible breasts.”
Dory’s studio, Doryland Creations, is in Stevenson, Washington, about an hour up the Columbia River from Portland, Orygun. Please feel free to contact Dory if you have any questions, comments, or are interested in a painting.