Name:  Noreen Dixon   Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

So we’re going to start with the difficult question: sum up your creative process in one word/phrase, and explain why!

Beauty from ashes. There is beauty to be found in everything if you look for it. There is always light after dark, hope after loss, rainbows after the storm.  Many people describe my abstract work as feeling calm in the chaos. When I hear that, I know they get the emotion behind the painting.

Were you always an artist, even as a child? What was your path to becoming an artist?  

I went to 14 schools in several states before I got to high-school. Always being the new girl, I gravitated toward art. I was painfully introverted and shy. Creating gave me a sense of security and a shield of comfort.

I painted my first canvas for a DIY project for my home in 2010. By the end of that year, I had my first show and sold my first piece.  Earlier this year, I left my twenty-year career as a mechanical designer to live the life of a full-time professional artist.

What is your medium of choice and what drew you to this particular medium? 

Texture (molding paste) and acrylic. I love creating with texture. Starting with texture leaves a raw and organic surface with peaks and valleys for the paint to play hide and seek with the viewers eyes. The paint gets into all the pits and cracks creating depth. I get such excitement seeing what is created in the end. I like acrylics because I haven’t got the patience or the vision needed to work with oils.

Is there any particular experience, person, place or thing that inspires you to create? Tell us about that.  

That’s a hard question. I believe my need to create is God-given. It’s deeply part of who I am and how I am wired. I get inspired by random things, like bark on trees, leaves of an aspen, rusty hinges, patterns of light, horizons, rocks, water…I could go on and on.

What is it like showing your work to people and what do you hope people take away from it?

I still get butterflies when people want to see my art.  I want them to leave with a sense of some type of contentment, whether it is calm, hope or a little happier than when they came in. I believe the value of my art to my collectors is the feeling it evokes with each look.

What advice do you have for other artists who may be looking to get their work exhibited? 

Just do it! There is no one size fits all formula. Everyone has to look for opportunities and take them before someone else does!  I was at a new restaurant several years ago, it was a new place and the atmosphere was good, but the walls were bare. I asked for the manager and told him his restaurant would look more amazing if there was art on the walls. Guess what? He said yes and soon my pieces adorned their walls. Exposure. Recently, someone saw my art in a local brewery and called to ask me to hang art in a house he was selling. Soon after, I had real estate agents calling to rent paintings for staging. Through my staging experience, I ended up being recommended to a new home buyer and they commissioned 5 original pieces.


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