Our shop was founded on the concept of supporting independent artists and, of course, each artist has their own story. Scout Dunbar's art immediately caught our eye with her unique take on the southwest region and stunning muted color palette- at this point, nearly all of us have one (or more!) of her pieces in our homes.
Read on to learn more about how Scout began her artistic journey and what inspires her to create.
From where do you draw your inspiration?
Most of my inspiration comes from my travels around the Southwest. I'm drawn to the rugged mountain scapes of the Sonoran Desert, as well as Spanish Colonial architecture found locally around Tucson. Wildlife has recently become a theme in some of my pieces as well, with a primary focus on birds soaring through open desert skies. In some of my more abstracted line drawings, I draw inspiration from early childhood memories of growing up in rural Upstate New York. These pieces serve as opportunities for me to revisit the past while coming to terms with the inevitable change we face as we move through life.
How has your style evolved over time?
My career began in a printmaking studio with an emphasis on mixed media mono-printing and etching. During this time, my work was very experimental and centered around the process of making an image. After relocating to NYC, I found myself without a printmaking studio and equipment. My work immediately shifted as I began exploring simpler drawing and printmaking processes that could be completed in my small New York apartment. I started incorporating geometry and freeform lines into my images and experimented with various drawing processes. Upon moving to the Southwest, my work continued incorporating similar drawing techniques but with an emphasis on telling a visual story of my encounters with the natural world.
How did you get started as an artist?
I'm the third generation of female artists on my mother's side, so becoming an artist always felt like a natural trajectory for me. I received my BFA in 2011 and immediately got going on establishing my career. It took many years of hard work, dedication, and compromise until I was able to commit full time, but slowly chipping away has finally begun to show results.
What are you working on right now? Any special projects?
Currently I'm working on a series for an exhibit in Santa Fe, New Mexico at a newly opened gallery attached to Cielo Handcrafted. I'm also making work for a solo show I'll be having in Maine this July. I'm excited about these two opportunities, as they require me to make very different bodies of work. My Maine exhibit will include experimental paintings and drawings based on coastal life, and the Cielo exhibit will have an eclectic mix of drawings inspired by architecture, interior spaces, and textiles.
What are you looking forward to?
I'd really like to take some time to delve deeper into experimental painting and drawing processes. Making work that's loose and expressive will help balance some of my more mechanical, intricate drawings. I have an exhibit planned for October at Form & Concept in Santa Fe, and I'm looking forward to sharing some of these new ideas in their beautiful space.
Anything else you'd like to share with us?
I'd like to use this moment to express gratitude for everyone who supports the arts. Whether you're a gallery, collector, appreciator, shop owner.. we as artists appreciate you all so much! Being a full time artist is an honor and privilege. If you're an emerging artist or know of someone who is becoming one, just remember to keep showing up. It's a career that requires patience, self-determination, and a whole lot of hope :)