artist dawn chandler
Dawn Chandler is a New Mexico landscape painter based in Santa Fe. Read her story below.
It all started on a small parcel of fragrant New Jersey woodlands, where I first began to explore nature. Childhood camping & backpacking trips throughout New England with my family furthered my love of the outdoors. But it was an intense backpacking trip at age 15 at New Mexico’s Philmont Scout Ranch — followed by many more summers there teaching backpacking skills to Boy Scouts — that sealed my destiny: After earning my MFA in painting from the University of Pennsylvania, I strapped my enormous oak painting easel to the roof of my Jeep Cherokee and drove cross-country to make New Mexico my home.
That was September of 1994, and I’ve been celebrating my love of the outdoors — especially New Mexico and the American West — through my art ever since. Whether via traditional landscapes or my more uniquely visioned semi-abstractions, my love of the New Mexico landscapes and sky is without question.
Blessed with fans and collectors who find joy in my passion for landscape, I’m honored to have my paintings grace the walls of countless private art collections throughout the country. I’ve been further blessed with opportunities to “escape the maddening world” and focus on painting without distraction at creative residency programs from Maine (Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture) to Wyoming (Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts), to Oregon (Playa Creative Residency Program).
Beyond painting, I’ve a voracious appetite for reading*, writing (blogging, poetry and the lost art of hand-written letter-writing), pursuing an active plant-based lifestyle** and, of course, hiking and exploring. Among my life’s crowning achievements thus far is having bike-camped across much of Mexico (yes, the country!) and, in celebration of my 50th birthday, solo-backpacking the length of Vermont (274 miles) from Massachusetts to Canada. In my 6th decade I hope to have completed all 2000+ miles of the Appalachian Trail (among other endeavors!)
By sharing through my art my love of the outdoors and the beauty I observe in the world around me, my hope is to remind people of the wonderment found in nature, and to inspire them to get outside, look around, breath deeply and find the joy, beauty, awareness and introspection there that I so cherish.
*BRAGGING RIGHTS: since age of 14 I’ve kept a list of every book I’ve ever read.
**Dare I say my salad-making skills are pure wizardry.