Kathleen Dawson, Plein Air Painter


“Painting from life is essential. The viewer of the painting should have a sense of being there, of feeling the atmosphere and light. Painting outdoors en plein air presents many challenges as we constantly deal with the infinite changes in nature. The artist must paint quickly to capture the ever-changing light.”
K Dawson

Kathleen Dawson, artistKathleen Dawson is an impressionist plein air painter of people, places, animals and the landscape. Kathleen’s work is very painterly in style. Her paintings say as much as possible with very few brush strokes and therefore each brush stroke is contemplated carefully.

Dawson was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and educated at McGill University in Montreal, University of British Columbia, Toronto School of Art, and the Ontario College of Art. She has travelled and lived in many parts of Canada and has visited much of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Mediterranean, Philippines and China.

For the past thirty five years Dawson has divided her time between her paintings and sculpture, her German Shepherd dogs and her horses. An avid outdoors woman Kathleen has travelled extensively by horseback throughout the wilderness areas of British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and Alaska where she has gathered sketches and inspiration for her paintings. Horses go where other means of transportation are impossible. With pack horses to carry paints, easel, food and gear, Kathleen travels deep into the wilderness areas for many days at a time, covering a great variety of terrain, weather and lighting conditions.

Dawson returns to France each year to paint the French landscape in such places as Giverny, the gardens of Impressionist painter Claude Monet, the French Riviera from Menton to Marseille and also Provence.

Dawson’s mentors have been Dainis Miezajs, Karl Wood, Elizabeth Smily and many more great artists of the past hundred and fifty years.

Artists That Have Influenced Dawson

Sergei Bongart, Joaquin Sorolla, Charles Hawthorne, Charles Movalli, Emile Gruppe, Robert Henri, Edgar Payne, Sir  Alfred J.Munnings, Carl Rungius, Claude Monet, Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard to name a few.


Among local and National awards, Dawson was awarded the prestigious 1993 Gold Medal for Le Societe Nationale Des Beaux–Arts Salon Biennale, Paris, France. This exhibition calls for entries from around the world.

Shows and Collections

Dawson’s works have been shown in over thirty-five galleries, shows and events and are in many collections, both private and corporate. Paintings have been sold to collectors in most of Canada including Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. Her paintings are also in The USA, France, Germany, Japan and Australia. Some corporate collectors include:

Scotia McLeod, Vancouver, B.C.

Kenji Hasagawa, Japan

West Coast Energy, Vancouver, B.C.

Langara Fishing Lodge, B.C.

Strong Western, Vancouver, B.C.

B.C.and Yukon Hotel Association, B.C.,Yukon

Lauk Liberte Law Firm Vancouver B.C.

Mauricie Art Gallery, Quebec

Centre des Arts de Shawinigan, Quebec

Lignum, Vancouver B.C.

Bel Art Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.

Harbottle Law Corporation

Lilloet News, B.C.

Edith Smithies and Associates, Vancouver B.C.

Dawson’s Paint Box Studio is located in Black Creek on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. It is open by appointment.