Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson was born on March 28th 1979 in Bermuda.  From an early age Chris was constantly drawing and sketching images on paper.  He automatically took a strong liking to representational based art and has continued to work in that style up until present day.

Chris attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design from 1998 – 2002 with the intention of studying graphic design.  That idea quickly changed and his focus turned to photography, illustration, and air brushing.  In his final year, he took a painting class and was introduced to oil paints.  Chris graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Fine Art.

Chris currently works in oil paints and charcoal.  He has a love and passion for painting portraits, the figure, still lifes, and he occasionally dabbles in some plein aire painting.  Chris is fascinated by oil paint – “I love the smell of it, the textures that can be created, the way it glides under the brush, and the different characteristics each pigment has”.   The choices of materials are extremely important for Chris.   He primarily paints on ACM panels and always selects paints that are of the highest quality with strictly oil and pigment with high lightfast ratings. This ensures the longevity of the countless hours that get put into each piece.

‘The Foundation’ Oil on panel, 6 X 6 inches


Dawson is inspired by the old masters such as Rembrandt, Velasquez, Ilya Repin, Ribera, Caravaggio, and also by contemporary artists such as Cesar Santos, David Kassan,  David Leffel, and Denis Sarazhin to name a few.

In 2015, Chris won the Charman Prize held at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art.  The Charman prize is Bermuda’s biggest visual art prize exhibition.  He submitted a painting titled ‘Three Queens’ which depicts his family members playing a game of 500 rummy with a playful twist to it.  This painting evokes a sense of timeless humanity while still having a contemporary feel to it.  ‘Three Queens’ was submitted to the BP Portrait in 2015 where it was shortlisted for the second round to get judged in person.


‘Three Queens’ Oil on panel, 34 X 55 inches


Exhibitions / Awards include:

–          Bermuda Society Of Art members shows 2009/2010/ 2011/ 2012

–          Common Ground Café group themed  show ‘Free Range and Organic’ 2012

–          People’s Choice Award for Drawing contest at Bermuda Arts Center in Dockyard 2013

–          Honorable Mention for Drawing contest at Bermuda Arts Center in Dockyard 2013

–          Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art – Solo shows 2010 / 2016

–          Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art – Charman Prize 2009 – Honorable mention

–          Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art – Charman Prize 2015 – Grand Prize Winner

–          Shortlisted for 2nd round of the British Portrait Award (National Portrait Gallery in London) 2016

–          Top 10 “Best of the Rest” (in regards to BP Award 2016)

–          Numerous features in magazines / newspapers/ and online articles

‘Precarious’ Oil on Panel, 8 X 10 inches

Chris Dawson Instagram
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