Every time I look at Snow Dollkinson what comes to mind is the staple description of a fairy tale fairest maiden – her lips are like rose petals, her eyes are bluer than sapphires, her skin is white like snow. Are you surprised to hear she is a model? And a very good one because looking at any photograph of her, you always see a different image – the same person, but another aspect of her personality, a new palette of emotions. And I feel privileged because over the course of last year I got to know the real Snow Dollkinson, who is a humble, intelligent, and soft-spoken young woman, and her kind, caring nature permeates her artwork.
“I like positive things and I want my art to bring people happiness and peace,” says Snow about her artistic approach. “As you see in my paintings, I use a lot of white. For me, this color has always been very important. White represents new beginnings, everything pure and virgin. And when I paint, I like to leave some white space because it means the painting is never really finished; it’s a never-ending dream.” Snow, through her paintings, speaks to people who are sensitive to positive energies, and those people like and collect her artwork.
Before she moved to New York in 2009, Snow lived in Paris and often traveled for her modeling work. She used to draw between her photoshoots, often surrounded by lights, clamor and intensity. “I was doing more drawings and a little bit of collage, things I could store and carry with me.” When she settled down in the Big Apple, having her own work space, she started painting in large format. Using oil pastels, Snow chooses a color to cover the entire surface of a sheet of paper. Over it, she lays 4 or 5 coats of tempera and, after they dry, cuts through layers to get to the base color. She never works on her art when asked, or when pressed with time, or when under stress – she has to feel it. And very often she wakes up visualizing her next painting, which is helpful because her technique doesn’t allow much room for improvisation and searching for the right image while cutting out chunks of paint. “If I make a mistake – I don’t do it often, but it happens – I leave it and move on to the next one,” says the artist.
Snow uses two distinct themes in her artwork: graphic and organic. Both are deeply rooted in her experiences and reflect her journey of personal growth. “As I go through life, I get tougher and it shows when I draw a straight line.” The geometric pattern represents the process of thinking, growing, becoming stronger. In the past, a fence of long narrow marks crossed her paintings, reminding her of the walls she built around herself when she was alone, when she was traveling and meeting a lot of people, not knowing who to trust. However, overtime Snow’s paintings started having fewer lines because she felt more experienced and less afraid of opening herself to the world. And the lines are more prominent, because she is more confident. “On the other hand, the organic imagery is more about my love, my feelings for other people, moments of happiness and melancholy. Nature inspires me to express my most private thoughts and emotions onto the paper.” It takes strength to carry your heart on your sleeve.
But Snow Dollkinson is a tough young woman. Intelligent and beautiful, she made it in the modeling world, which, like the current art market, rarely promotes softness and sensitivity, simplicity and spirituality. But Snow never followed the current, she always swims up-stream. I admire the fact that she is comfortable in her knowledge of herself. She is at ease expressing her opinions and having her own voice. Her artwork is a statement to her values.
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