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Marilyn Dunlap's Paint by Numbers for Adults

 Paint By Numbers Marilyn Dunlap

"(...) pick a subject that interests you and practice, practice, practice"

First, where are you from and why do you enjoy the most about this place?


I was born in New Jersey, but moved to Jupiter Florida early on. What I love about Jupiter, is that it is near the beach on the Atlantic ocean in South Florida, and our weather is beautiful most of the year. Warm and sunny all year long.

Although I must say it’s getting a bit too hot during the summer.

Where are you the most inspired to paint? What inspires you the most to paint?


My inspiration to paint comes from my travels to Europe. I am fortunate enough to take a trip about every other year. I especially enjoy France and Italy.

I take a lot of photographs and that way I have them and I paint when I get back home.

What is the story behind your subjects? What do you prefer to paint?

I love to paint landscapes and street scenes. I have a passion for art and history so that is why I am inspired from my travels to Europe.

I find European history very fascinating!

When did you discover your talent? And was it because of a person, an event, a specific situation?


I started painting at a very early age. I was around 12 years old when my mother signed me up through the West Palm Beach recreation department, for 10 art lessons. For that class we had to bring our own oil paints and canvas.

The teacher was French and we had to choose the subject of their painting, from a stack of postcards from Europe that she displayed on the table and we would just pick one. I’m sure that explains why I love to paint European scenes.

Can you tell us about your favorite setup to paint? 

I enjoy painting in the afternoon, because every day I ride my bicycle in the morning for exercise. So after lunch I like to paint while occasionally sipping a glass of wine.

I like to listen to soft rock music while I’m painting, as it is very relaxing.


Do you have a fellow partner (a dog, a cat,…) when painting or do you prefer being alone?


My partner is my dog bomber (A Boston terrier), who sleeps in his bed under my art table. He is like my shadow and follows me everywhere I go.


Can you explain how different is your painting technique from the acrylic paint used with paint by numbers?


 I paint in acrylics on Masonite which is a hard smooth surface, because that way I can paint in great detail without dealing with the roughness of a canvas.

Do you have a piece of advice to share with a beginner regarding… a technique, an angle, an equipment?


My advice to beginning artist would be to pick a subject that interest you and practice, practice, practice.

It might be helpful to buy a book on how to show distance and shading. Also how to mix colors. That is very important. Start with a very simple subject, and after you mastered that technique move on to something harder.


What is your funniest memory about painting?


What I find amusing, is when, for example, someone tells me they know exactly where a certain shop is located maybe in Paris, or a certain landscape is located In Tuscany.

It’s funny to me because I know these places do not exist. I take a lot of pictures and just make up the places or the shops I want to paint.

So my paintings are mostly contrived from my memory and most of these places do not exist.

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