Featured Artist Dawna Boehmer

Artist Dawna Boehmer’s oil paintings offer a humorous and satirical take on everyday life situations. Visit her website to see more of her work.


figurative painting by Dawna Boehmer

“The World Awaits” oil, 36″ x 48″


I am a storyteller who uses paint and canvas instead of words. Whether I’m painting people, or animals, I like to show their emotions, personalities and humor.


figurative painting by Dawna Boehmer

“Blind Date” oil, 36″ x 24″


My characters—be they people or animals wearing clothing—interact in social situations with often comical results. In “Blind Date” a man tries to impress a woman but he talks too much and she just looks bored.


painting of dogs by Dawna Boehmer

“Blind Date With Dogs” oil, 20″ x 16″


The same scene is played in “Blind Date With Dogs” which uses dogs as subjects instead of humans. It shows a “Professor Type” Basset Hound with a bored “Party Girl” English Spaniel.


figurative painting by Dawna Boehmer

“Nora’s Ark” oil, 16″ x 20″


I always have several ideas for paintings running through the back of my mind. I never try to rush to start a painting because it takes a while for the many variances of an idea to work themselves out. The smallest thing may trigger an idea. An expression on a face, the curve of a hip in a photograph, a famous painting; they all add bits and pieces to the final work of art.


painting of a dog by Dawna Boehmer

“Hubby Has The Flu” oil, 16″ x 20″


Once I’ve decided on the general direction of a painting, I start gathering together reference photos. Often, I have my husband pose for me. In “Hubby has the Flue” he is wearing a plaid bathrobe and holding a teddy bear.


figurative painting by Dawna Boehmer

“I Need My Space” oil, 30″ x 30″


If I don’t have the item around the house then I search online—Chanel shoes, a railroad train, a telescope, a star map—there is a limit to what I can draw from my imagination. For some reason, my husband fully expected me to draw a train from an image in my head. He must think I have the super power of a photographic memory!


figurative painting by Dawna Boehmer

“Great Expectations” oil, 36″ x 48″


When I have an idea committed to a drawing and transferred to canvas, then everything changes. Somehow a painting knows where it wants to go. If there is a little blank space left somewhere, I fill it with flowers, a purse or some small detail which adds to the narrative. I love painting lots of detail, even if it means I end up using teeny tiny brushes.


painting of a cat by Dawna Boehmer

“Harley Cat” oil, 20″ x 16″


Movie posters have always been an inspiration to me, especially ones from the 30’s and 40’s. Posters capture a moment in time while hinting at a longer narrative. People see my paintings and always tell me what they think is going on in the scene.


dog playing cards by Dawna Boehmer

“The Card Shark” oil, 18″ x 18″


When I started painting again after a long hiatus, I took portrait classes from a very traditional painter. However, painting realistic portraits bored me and soon humor and a story line started coming through.


animal portrait painting by Dawna Boehmer

“The Peaceful Kingdom” oil, 30″ x 30″


It took me years to fully accept that I’m more of an illustrator than a realist. Norman Rockwell painted realistically, yet he is considered an illustrator. One critic called me a sarcastic Norman Rockwell—I consider that a compliment!


Artist Dawna Boehmer invites you to follow her on Instagram, Facebook, icanvas and Etsy.


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  1. I loved reading about your whimsical paintings, Dawna… wonderful work! Made me smile from ear to ear. Congratulations on your Artsy Shark feature 🙂

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