Dawn is a figurative painter based in Suffolk UK. Portraits are a speciality and commissions are welcomed on any subject.
Classes are run at The Cut Arts Centre in Halesworth, East Suffolk, and other venues. Deluxe weekend courses are also available. Please see Events coming up page for workshops and exhibitions, and painting holidays.
facebook Dawn Pretty – painter of people and places
Born in Rhodesia, descending from a settler in Africa in 1820, who was brother to John Alexander Gilfillan, the acclaimed Scottish painter, known for his portrait of Robert Burns’ wife, and early depiction of New Zealand culture and landscape.
‘I began painting as a small bored child on a shady veranda in the screaming heat, in a remote farmhouse surrounded by mountains and jungle. We had no electricity. A stream was our only water supply, found by a narrow path, where the trees tangled roots made steps for us, and dangled lichen and lurid giant spiders across our pathway. We’d creep into the dark, sweet, damp perfume of that secret place, where the trickle of water wove its way through jungle humus, alive with tiny crabs and catfish. Tarzan and Huckleberry Finn were my heroes. Leopards padded outside my bedroom in the evening as the drum beats echoing in the valley became a frenzied dance for flickering candlelight.
Lightning once struck a hole clean through the wall, and frequently, night bush fires bejewelled the surrounding mountains like amber necklaces. My delight and terror. Creature choirs and intoxicating air, awakened all the senses after heavy rains……’
Fuelled with all this emotive energy, I painted, and desperately willed my watercolour horses to be alive. Frustration at feeble attempts was met with stoical advice; ’Practice makes perfect,’ and, ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’. I mastered in this.