Kamala Dolphin-Kingsley lives in Portland. Her work has been shown at Roq la Rue, the Crocker Museum, the AKC Museum of the Dog and The China Institute in Paris. She shows at Brumfield Gallery and completed a combined Jordan Schnitzer Printmaking Residency/Visual Arts Residency at Sitka in 2018.
I work with watercolor acrylic and gouache on Aquaboard panels. Sometimes I add a smidgen of glass glitter or gold leaf on specific details at the end if it feels right. Each panel can take up to 70 hours to complete from initial sketch through multiple layers of paint and additional pencil drawing. Some paintings start with very tight mockups/plans and others happen organically, depends what kind of mood I’m in. Lately I’ve been focused on making large multi panel panorama landscapes where each panel works individually or in combination with the others.
I admire the work of Wanda Gag, Lotte Reiniger, Hiroshi Yoshida, Edmund Dulac, Maria Sibylla Merian, Charles Burns, and John Gabriel Beckman. Movements and styles that look at most are Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Indian Miniatures, Outsider/FolkArt, psychedelic hippie art, Japanese printmaking, Hollywood Regency, Graphic novels, turn of the century fairy tale illustrations, and vintage Hawaiian fabrics.
Recurring imagery in my work is animals and plants both scientifically accurate and imagined, stylized landscapes, water, a general feeling of lushness, temperate and tropical rainforests, plants with psychedelic properties, always nature in general. I spent a lot of my childhood observing snails, slugs, newts, and my pet rats and I currently do a lot of gardening and these things definitely make their way into my art repeatedly. I’ve always been interested in where and how animals sleep in the forest, what goes on under the ground and inside the trees and mushrooms where humans can’t see. I’m often trying to create a primordial sense of magic in a fantastical organic landscape, to regain the feeling of wonder I had as a child adventuring in the-woods alone or with animals or reading my favorite kid’s books like Ratsmagic or Where the Wild Things Are.
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