Emma Dunbar: joy abloom

Hot pinks and oranges, gorgeous flowers and cupcakes. What’s not to love?

Emma Dunbar’s paintings are truly a feast for the eyes. They’re an open invitation to drink it all in and feel the joy.

Emma Dunbar at Surrey Artist Open Studios (December 2022).

Born in England in 1961, Emma earned a BA (hons) in Fine Art Printmaking from West Surrey College of Art and Design (1984). She has worked full time as an artist ever since, and has exhibited throughout the UK.

Her art has been reproduced internationally as greeting cards, posters, limited edition etchings and fabric design.

What excites me about making pictures is trying to capture the essence of a place, a feeling, a thing. I am attracted to vivid colours and the decorative qualities in everyday objects. I enjoy rearranging my ingredients, for instance moving all the red boats on the beach next to the pink tractor for a stronger effect. Birds, shells, flowers and fish might be placed against true landmarks as focal points. My pictures are therefore more atmospheric than literal. My aim is to end up with my gathered ingredients – glimpses of journeys, patterns from familiar settings and objects collected along the way – converging to create an image that communicates the richness of the original source of inspiration.

Dunbar works mainly on board in acrylic, occasionally incorporating collage with gold and silver leaf. Her printmaking training is evident in her use of blocks of flat color and the way she scratches through surfaces to reveal pre-laid colors underneath.

Her influences come from traveling in India, Cornish holidays, and “the chaos of cats and children wandering onto wet paint.”

When I first saw her work, I thought of Mary Fedden, and sure enough, Emma counts Fedden, along with Milton Avery and Daphne McClure as primary inspirations.

Walking her dogs, landscapes, new seasons, patterns on packaging, color combinations, and even trips to the supermarket can all provide inspiration too.

Greeting cards.

Her delightful pictures are both uplifting and optimistic. I enjoy the quirky compositions and skewed perspective in some of her pieces. It draws the viewer in, engaging with a sense of curiosity or sheer beauty.

Visit Emma Dunbar’s Official Website to purchase original paintings, greeting cards, and posters. More at her Facebook Page and Instagram.

*Copyright © 2023 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

16 thoughts on “Emma Dunbar: joy abloom

  1. You have introduced me to yet another UK artist that I LOVE! I looked through these paintings multiple times. What a delight her work is! I adore her flowers and how some are almost abstract in the back with blocks of paint with detailed flowers and vase in the front. One painting has MY cats in it! Seriously I have two tuxedo cats — one with a white blaze and one with a black face! Love the cats she painted with the flowers and the dog. I’m off to check out her website as well as the artists that inspired her. Thanks for the introduction to Emma Dunbar!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Jama for this colorful blog. I also love the cats, but my favorite is the colorful vase of flowers at the end of the piece. It’s a dull and cold Nor’easter out my window today! How did you know that we all needed some color?!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, wow, thanks for the introduction! I love Emma’s colors, her flowers, the ceramics, those dogs! Also love her stylishly artsy outfit in those photos. Thanks to you both for the inspiration. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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