Delaware artist left the banking world to ‘get back to her bliss’

Denise Dumont traded her office job for the life of a professional painter. Now her office is wherever she sets up her easel.

She went to school for art, but to make a living the business world came calling. “If you would have told me that while I was in school, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Dumont said.

She was very happy in her banking career, “But at some point I just said this is wonderful, but I really want to get back to my bliss, which is painting.”

“I’m a landscape painter,” Dumont said. She is drawn to the landscapes of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay up to the coast of New England and Maine.

The shore calls to her as it may for you or anyone who finds themselves looking out over the open water and sky of the coastal spot of their choice.

“Its just being near the open landscape and the sky and the ocean.”

Not to be left out, Dumont also considers the mountains a beautiful place to paint. “I love to visit, but I always find myself coming home to a coastal landscape.”

Two things I noticed when I first saw her work was a sense of mood and subdued colors. Neither is by accident.

She picks up the mood of whatever location she is in and that mood certainly shows in the work.  “I don’t always gravitate to a bright sunny sky, I like inclement weather.”

It’s a conscious effort to mute the colors as well to portray that sense of mood. “Some of my older work is a little more vibrant,” Dumont said. To recreate the mood she finds at each location, everything has to come together. “I like to replicate a mood and then from there the colors need to work.”

Both the color and the shapes need to work together in the context of the scene she is painting.  Some of these locations she has visited many times, and the mood always changes. The light, the clouds, the weather, all these can make the familiar look different and she seeks that out too.

Painting landscapes is something she loves, but she feels like she has a lot of room to grow as a painter. “I’m itching to do some more portraiture and some more still life.”

Ultimately what keeps her going out and painting is “being out there and enjoying where I’m painting.”

“You’re exploring and you are creating and there’s nothing like that.”

Denise’s exhibit “Capturing Light: Landscapes of the Delmarva and Beyond” will be on display in the Historic Odessa Visitors Center through October 15th.

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