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<em>Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create (Image courtesy of Dominique Elise Wilmore).</em>

Artist of The Week: Dominique Elise Wilmore

Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
Dominique Elise Wilmore: I've been creating my whole life; like a lot of children, I was constantly drawing. I always loved art classes throughout school and fell in love with darkroom photography. Sadly darkrooms slowly disappeared and so I gravitated mainly towards painting. I taught high school art for six years and always had my hands in many different mediums. I do love sculpting with clay, however I'm not set up for that kind of work right now in my home studio.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
My process begins with some type of inspiration, a color palette, a sunset, a moody sky, a song, a mountain view, and emotion, feeling or mood. I can picture it in my mind and feel a need to get it down canvas. I have a funny way of seeing color, I think its from teaching high school students how to mix colors; like if I see an amazing sunset for example I can see in my mind the colors I'll mix together to get that specific hue. When I begin a painting I start with the layers and multiple colors of the sky and clouds. My goal is to create a mood and bring out the emotions through the colors and movements of the clouds. The treeline is to ground the viewer, to make it more accessible and to put this heavenly sense of wonder in perspective for us. The final stage is the work being seen, loved, owned, connected to by someone other then myself. I paint to communicate a bit of my own hope, wonder, and amazement of this beautiful world that was created for us all.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
I am deeply inspired by nature and the connection we can feel if we let ourselves be open to it. I'm a true Pacific Northwest girl, I love being outside, I'm also an ultra trail runner so I spend a lot of time out on trails in the forest, and taking in mountain views. So many times I have stopped dead in my tracks in complete awe of the beauty that surrounds me. The sky always give us a sense of hope no matter what hard things we may be going through, or how long its been raining. Usually at the end of our PNW stormy days the sun will peak out just enough before it sets for the night to give us that hope of a better day to come. That is feeling I am trying to capture, that hope is my inspiration.

Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles etc?
I suppose I'm a silver lining, dream big, glass half full, art makes you happy kinda artist. I want to bring people peace and joy with my work. My "beat" is maybe more of a feeling/emotion. I think it shows in my body of work no matter what the subject matter.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
Definitely my current series "Heavens and Earth". This series has been so natural for me. I have struggled in the past, as I think many artist have, with comparison, while trying to figure out who you are as an artist. This series has come so easily and organically; I can use a picture for reference, but I don't have to. I can see it before I paint it in my mind: and I can feel the emotions that go with each painting so deeply. It has given me so much freedom to paint how I feel, and not hold back. I feel like these painting represent who I am more then any others I have ever painted.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Oh life, sometimes we go through crummy stuff and how you deal with it over time becomes who you are. I talk a lot about hope in my work because I do have faith in a better day to come. My work is what it is today and I can talk about the emotion behind it because I have been able to embrace the hard times and look to the future with excitement for what is to come.

If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
You can check out my Instagram and/or my website.

What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
I do have a very special project going on right now creating and selling mini paintings as an adoption fundraiser. We are in the process of adopting a baby and this special project will help raise money to cover the insane cost of adoptions for more families. I have mini watercolors and acrylics in antique frames, and mini acrylic paintings on framed canvases that will all be sold with 100% of proceeds to support adoption! They are for sale on my website as well as Instagram as I keep making them.

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
With unsweetened coconut milk.