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Michael Dumas - Casual Balance
Release Year: 2012
Size (inches): 12 x 12
Form: giclée on canvas hand signed by the artist
Custom Framing: available upon request
I often find myself being open to observation, even when I am not consciously trying to be. One day, as I went to check on mail delivery at the end of our lane-way, I noticed some oddly stacked sections of an old pine lying in a narrow strip of land that belongs to a neighbor located between the mailbox and the lake. Apparently he had been clearing out deadfalls, and for some reason that I still have not found out about, had cut very short uneven lengths from a fallen pine and had left them stacked in a somewhat precarious fashion. The oddity of it struck me immediately, and combined with the visual effects of early evening light and shadow, the impression of it all really stayed with me. By the time that I got around to doing the painting, the cut sections were no longer there and I proceeded to work partly by memory and partly by reconstructing the scene from other similar pieces of wood. The addition of the chipmunk came about quite simply from seeing a few of these active little animals in the same location, and realizing that just the right placement of one of them would add to the sense of a casual and delicate balance. — MD
The art of Michael Dumas is characterized by masterful drawing and an unusual sensitivity to the subtleties of light, detail, form, color and composition. His is a unique style that is instantly recognizable.
Dumas is attracted to subjects that express the simple harmony of the everyday. His extraordinary paintings of typical sights, such as common sparrows, celebrate how exquisite the ordinary truly is. Subjects also include rural themes and people, revealing an intimate connection based on direct experience. “There is something precious and ultimately profound in the simplest act of being,” he said.
Dumas’s familiarity with the wilderness and its creatures has been reflected in his art ever since childhood, when, day after day, he would draw the chickens his aunt and uncle kept next door. Even then, he was demonstrating his intense desire to know things in a deeper sense by drawing them, aware that his drawings were a measure of how well he understood the world around him.
“There are innumerable things one can choose to paint,” said Dumas, whose preferred medium is oil. “But the underlying purpose of creating has to do with conveying something about why those objects inspire attention in the first place. The greater the connection, the more insightful the work will be, the more truth it will reveal, not just about the thing painted, but about the artist as well.”
Dumas was born and raised in a small town in Ontario, near the eastern entrance to Algonquin Park, the first and one of the largest and most diverse provincial parks. He worked there for a time as a ranger and still joins the Park’s winter bear den research team. His work is displayed each year at the Algonquin Art Centre.
His concern for the welfare of the natural world is reflected in his art, and with it he has raised awareness for many endangered species. Numerous conservation efforts worldwide have benefited from his dedication and support. Dumas has been instrumental in raising millions of dollars, working along side such notable figures as H.R.H. Prince Philip, H.R.H. Prince Bernhardt, and Prince and Princess Hitachi of the Japanese Imperial Family. Dumas was also involved with the fund-raising campaign to support the efforts of Dr. Richard Leakey in Kenya. A published writer of both poetry and articles on art, nature and conservation, Dumas has designed postage stamps for Canada Post and commemorative coins for the Royal Canadian Mint.
The art of Michael Dumas has attracted international acclaim, and prestigious galleries and museums in North America, Europe and Japan have exhibited his work. Among them are The National Museum of Canada, The McMichael Canadian Collection, The Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton, The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, Buffalo, NY; Nature In Art and The International Museum of Wildlife, Gloucester, England; The Suntory Museum of Art, Tokyo and Osaka, The Yamanakako-Takamura Museum of Arts, Mitsukoshi Gallery, Tokyo, Matsuya Gallery, Tokyo and Sogo Gallery, Osaka, Japan.
The recipient of numerous awards, Dumas won The Master Palette Award presented by Gallery One in Mentor, OH, for The Masterworks in Miniature Show (2005, 2009, 2010, 2011). His giclée canvases are published by Gallery Giclées™. He was awarded Best of Show by popular vote at The Bruno Copalongo Invitational at the Hamilton Centre for the Arts Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario (2011), The Award of Recognition - Leadership in Arts and Culture by The County of Peterborough (2009), The Peterborough Pathway of Fame (2004), Who's Who in America (2003), Who's Who in the World (2000), Who's Who in Canada (1994), The Ontario Wildlife Conservation Award (1987), and the Carling O'Keefe Professional Conservationist Award (1986). Dumas has received top Ducks Unlimited art awards in both Canada and the U.S., and he was the first winner of the Wildlife Habitat Canada stamp/print program competition.
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