Featured Artist Kim Dayton

Inspired by the vast natural landscapes of the American Midwest, artist Kim Dayton creates abstracts that convey a sense of place. Find more of her portfolio on her website.


abstract landscape painting by Kim Dayton

“Walkin’ After Midnight” gouache, watercolor and tissue paper on paper, 12″ x 16″


My artistic journey began with crayon drawings and coloring books, but didn’t really take off until I took a 4-H photography class when I was nine. I used my dad’s Brownie Instamatic and rolls of black and white film to produce oh-so-sophisticated tiny photos of crocuses, barn doors, and farm implements.


abstract landscape painting by Kim Dayton

“Golden Hour (Fog)” acrylic and tissue paper on canvas, 14″ x 18″


When I entered 7th grade I had to choose between continuing to play my viola (Orchestra I) or ART (Painting and Drawing I). I chose the latter, foregoing a possible future as a concert musician. However, my love of art was quickly subsumed by my plan, hatched in 9th grade, to become a lawyer.


abstract landscape painting by Kim Dayton

“January 2022″ mixed media on paper, 16″ x 12”


Although I did eventually purchase an SLR camera with which I continued to shoot my own version of fine art photography, left brain activities consumed my life for much of the next 27 years.


abstract landscape by Kim Dayton

“Controlled Burn I” (one of a diptych) acrylic on denim fiber paper, 12″ x 12″


In 1998, a friend noticed that I was interested in doodling with colored pencils and fountain pens. She bought me a box of soft pastels, which she said was “a forgiving medium.”


abstract landscape painting by Kim Dayton

“Low Tide” acrylic on denim fiber paper, 36″ x 12″


I took a couple of classes, worked on my own, and even had a show of my work in a local coffee shop. I had always liked making collages, so I did that as well—usually covering notebooks with designs constructed from ephemera and old jewelry, and gifting them to friends and family.


abstract landscape painting by Kim Dayton

“A Kind of Blue” acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 36″


I liked using the pastels, but I really wanted to paint. My sister, a genuine artist with a BFA, suggested I try acrylics first due to their easy clean up and non-toxicity—and so I did.


abstract landscape painting by Kim Dayton

“Dusk” acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 24″


I didn’t really get the hang of painting for a long time, Once I took a class with an artist at a local art center who specialized in acrylic, I understood more about how the paint and brushes work together. I began to develop a distinct style, which became even more distinct when I switched from brushes to credit cards for most of my mark-making.


abstract landscape painting by Kim Dayton

“Winter Hiking” mixed media on paper, 12″ x 12″


I spent five years mentoring with a local artist, Hazel Belvo. With her encouragement, I continued experimenting with combining media in non-traditional ways.


abstract landscape painting by Kim Dayton

“Scorched Earth II” acrylic on paper, 12″ x 16″


These mixed media works, which often incorporate paper, acrylic and other media in a single painting, have become the means to create the feeling and sense of place, rather than a literal representation. That is the goal of each of my pieces.


abstract landscape painting by Kim Dayton

“Scorched Earth III” acrylic and walnut ink on paper, 12″ x 12″


My work is inspired by the vast prairies of central Kansas where I grew up and lived until middle age, and the forests and lakes of Minnesota, where I now reside. Many of my paintings consider the role that fire plays in the natural landscapes of prairie and forest.


Artist Kim Dayton invites you to follow her on Instagram and Saatchi Art.


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  1. Golden Hour Fog is my favorite. I like your style overall.

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