I work to press beyond method and into a flow of creative instinct; using pastel, oil, acrylic or printmaking to express myself with unusual compositions and expanding vision. I am looking for two things: I want to see the “bones” of the landscape found in the openness of an arid climate or the stacked fields of cultivated land. I also love the compositional elements of a cluttered, close scene that allows me to treat the landscape much like a still life. This is especially true of my aerial views and large foreground pieces. I’m looking for the compositional elements of both of these types of landscape paintings rather than the beauty of individual objects.
2017 Featured Artist, Dinah Worman, has been a favorite of Coors Show patrons since 2011. Her painting History of a Field received the Best in Show award, in 2013, and she was selected for the Southwest Art Award, in 2015.
Born in Midland, Texas, Worman excelled at art in school and went on to study at Colorado State University. After college she moved to Sheridan, Wyoming where she studied with William Wright who showed her the expressive qualities of pastel as a medium. Years later, she moved to Taos in an effort to focus on her career in art. The move inspired a visual shift in Worman that she pursues to this day.
Her work took yet another leap when she transitioned back to oils from pastels, and began exploring her now signature “stacked landscapes.” Painted in oil, Worman developed a process of creating painterly images based on the land mostly around northern New Mexico. Her process begins by triggering inspiration though reference photographs, which lead to small compositions laid-in with watered down black paint. “I know immediately if the composition works,” she explained. “And if it does, I put a wash over the whole thing and start laying down juicy, thick oil paint.”
As she works, she often positions small white-faced black cows to abstractly punctuate the painting, thereby drawing viewers through the composition. “I even put those in before I put more paint on, so they look kind of carved out of the landscape,” she said. These minimalist compositions lead to larger pieces, using the study as a reference. “My interpretation is more important to me than the object itself. You realize that your wisdom is coming from some subconscious place rather than from copying something else. I want to do work that, though rooted in reality, is more and more conceptual. Painting and drawing have given me a lot of comfort, challenge, direction, goals—about everything I’ve needed to keep myself moving forward. I’m at my best when there is no real break from painting and it is part of my daily life.”
Worman has earned the designation of Master Pastelist from the Pastel Society of America. She has been featured in articles including: Southwest Art, The Pastel Journal and The Artists Magazine as well as having a public installation chosen for display in Taos, NM. She is also featured in several books including Art Journey America: Landscapes and Art Journey: New Mexico.
Education: Colorado State University, Fort Collins; BA, Metropolitan State University, Denver.
Awards & Honors: Featured Artist – 2017, Southwest Art Award - 2015, Best of Show - 2013, Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale; Southwest Art Magazine Award of Excellence, American Art Invitational, Denver, 2014; Master Pastelist, National Arts Club Award – 2002, Joseph V. Giffuni Memorial Award – 1998, Hahnemuhle Paper Award – 1995, Dick Blick Award – 1993, Pastel Society of America; 1st Place Pastel, Fountain Hills National Art Show, Fountain Hills, AZ, 1992; 1st Place Pastel, Greeley Art Mart, Greeley, CO, 1992.
Selected Exhibitions: Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale, Denver, CO, 2011-2017; Solo Show, Act I Gallery, Taos, NM, 2014; American Art Invitational, Denver, CO, 2014; Harwood Museum, Taos, NM, 2010; Pastel Society of America’s Annual Exhibition, New York, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2002.
Selected Publications: Southwest Art, Feature, July 2015, January 2012, March 2007; Art Journey of America, 2011; Art Journey New Mexico, 2009; Tempo Magazine, Taos News, September 2005; The Artist Magazie, 2000; Best of Pastel II, published by Rockport Publishers, 1998.
Collections: Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM.
Representation: Ann Korologos Gallery; Act 1; Meyer East Gallery, Santa Fe.