Sarah Dunn’s Fantastical Style

Here’s an example of Sarah Dunn’s art from a couple of years ago.

Dunn early

And here’s one from 2015 (forgive my amateur photography).

dunn middle5

Note the move from large, bold botanical features that fill the space to something a little starker, where vertical cascades of space itself set the mood and the bits of organic beauty sparkle in brush strokes more delicate than bold.

And here’s one that seems to capture the moment of stylistic evolution.


This third painting trains the eye vertically from the elephantine blotches at the root-and-soil bottom to the sparkling bits in the more spacious upper region, the upward movement exhibiting a tonal change in artistic sensibility. To be sure, the hand of the artist is constant, and runs through all three of my sample paintings, but there is a variable in the style as well, as the artist develops across time.

Both the earlier and newer visions are fantastical, but the former is earthbound, close-up, brings us into a tactile wonderland, while the latter puts us at an objective distance, as a visual observer, introducing a cosmic sublime element, an almost existential sense of space, stark white and bleak, impersonal and indifferent, but with fantastic bits of light and beauty thwarting the existentialist’s dream of desolation. Knowing that Sarah moved at this time to Alaska to film Bering Sea Gold, I like to think of the Alaskan vistas conditioning Sarah’s new sense of space, while the brightness of her own spirit pushes back, in specks, giving the new paintings their signature dramatic tension.


2 thoughts on “Sarah Dunn’s Fantastical Style

  1. The two most recent pieces put me in an oriental garden mood. What is the sound of one mind creating? In the first work, I envision admiring a single moth wing for hours, days…

    Thanks for the visual coolness, Gary.

    Liked by 1 person

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