Dinah K. Worman is musing about being selected as the featured artist in the 2017 Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale.
“When they called me, I thought I was in trouble,” laughs this accomplished painter of contemporary landscapes. A tall, elegant woman with presence, Dinah is disarmingly modest. She was surprised to learn that the curator of the show had decided to take things in a more contemporary direction. In fact, she had been concerned that her style might be too contemporary. A funny response from someone who won the Southwest Art award in the same exhibition in 2015 and the Best of Show in 2013.
Dinah is also a Master Pastellist and a printmaker, though her preferred medium is oil painting. She studied at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, CO and earned a BFA from Denver’s Metropolitan State University, building a firm foundation in traditional techniques of realism.
She became interested in aerials as a result of having a friend with an airplane. Flying over the landscape gave things a different perspective. In this farm scene, the overhead view is so direct that it abstracts the landscape into a grid.
Later works use a less perpendicular perspective, achieving a feeling of floating above the landscape, such as this winter scene from 2015 with a typically stacked view.
“I am looking for two things: I want to see the bones of the landscape found in the openness of an arid climate or the stacked fields of cultivated land. I also love the compositional elements of a cluttered, close scene that allows me to treat the landscape much like a still life. This is especially true of my aerial views and large foreground pieces. I’m looking for the compositional elements of both of these types of landscape paintings rather than the beauty of individual objects.”
— Dinah Worman
We visited her studio in November, as she was preparing for the 2017 Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale. Located inside her rambling Taos home, the entrance is off the kitchen, up a flight of stairs to a spacious room with north-facing windows.
Eventually, Dinah found her own unique style. Her most recent work is less literal and more stylized, more abstract, with a signature emphasis on texture (we are tempted to believe she may have been a pastry chef in a past life). The palette knife is used to build up thick layers and dragged and scraped to expose underpainting, as well. Snow is not just white, but includes a rainbow of pastel colors.
And then there are the barns. Dinah is (the only person who seems to be) conflicted about them. They are cute, funny and collectible. Next to her more serious work, they seem almost like someone else painted them, yet no one else could. They are distinctly Dinah’s, and in very high demand! These are some of the gallery’s most popular offerings — with patrons always waiting for new ones to arrive. Dinah recently had a change of heart about them, accepting and appreciating that they bring happiness to people.
In our estimation it is no small gift to be capable of creating anything that can have that effect. The world needs more happiness and Dinah is certainly doing her part!