Artist Interview: Sabrina Dames

Who are you and how long have you been an artist?
I am Sabrina Dames and I’ve been an artist since the mid 1990’s.

What medium(s) do you work in & why?
I love to paint abstracts on canvas using acrylic paints. I use acrylics because they dry quickly and because I don’t like the fumes used to clean oil from brushes. I LOVE bright colors and I like to layer them in different hues. I need the paint to dry quickly in order to do that. The other medium I like is charcoal but I haven’t done as many works with that as I have with acrylics.

What is your creative process like?
My creative process is very simple. Again, I LOVE color. I will usually lay out a piece of wax paper and squirt blotches on paint on it until I have little blobs of color all over the paper. I always have a blob of white to lighten shades. And I usually have a blob of metallic gold which is my muse if a color can be a muse. I do not start with a plan. I just paint what I’m feeling. The thing I like most about my paintings is they look different every time you look at them.

What is the best art-related advice you’ve received?
The best art related advice I’ve ever received was from a buyer who commissioned one of my paintings. He told me to paint it on a gallery wrapped canvas and extend the painting to the edges so he wouldn’t have to frame it. I’ve been using gallery wrapped canvases ever since. It was the best advice because I am horrible when it comes to picking frames for my work. My works are very busy to begin with and the wrong frame can make one look gaudy.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
The biggest challenge I have faced to date as an artist has been the lack of an art education. I have two journalism degrees. I have taken art classes and I have learned a lot. But there are many things I’m sure I would have learned if I’d studied it full time. Framing is one example. How to properly stretch a canvas is another. One of the artist at Artomatic, a student at the University of Maryland, gave me a crash course in how to stretch a canvas.

Choose one piece that you currently have on display at Artomatic and tell the story of that piece:

"Heart Dazzle" by Sabrina Dames

“Heart Dazzle” by Sabrina Dames

One of the paintings I have on display at Artomatic is called Heart Dazzle. It’s my favorite right now. When I started painting it I was not thinking about a heart. But I saw one as I was working so I decided to outline it. If you look closely you will also see what looks like a cannon shooting at it. That was not intentional either. One day when I was at Artomatic I looked at it and noticed what looked like writing on the heart that I hadn’t noticed before. I thought someone had written on it until I went back and looked at a picture that I’d taken of the painting and saw that the letter- like figures were there all the time. Like I said, every time you look at one of my paintings you’ll see something different.

What is your favorite part of the Artomatic experience so far?
My favorite part of the Artomatic experience so far has been meeting other artists and learning. For example an Artomatic volunteer showed me the best way to hang a painting on installation night. And I learned the importance of telling people how to purchase your work from an artist’s blog that was posted on Facebook. This is my first show! Just the opportunity to take part has been a wonderful experience for me. I’m just happy to have a public place to show my work.

What is your website (or other method of contact):
My website is:
People can reach me at:

You can see more of Sabrina’s work on display at Artomatic 2015 on the fourth floor, space 7-177.