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J. Dobyns

Artist J. Dobyns paints for therapy and release - and shares her innermost feelings with us through canvas and paper. Without pulling any punches, she paints her life in styles abstract and impressionistic.

artist's statement

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"Purification by Fire"

"I wanted to express the ongoing hardships in my life: Going through the flames but never being fully consumed by them."

Painting is 9" by 12" acrylic on paper.

Purification By Fire



No Sweet Dreams

"No Sweet Dreams"

"While other girls were playing with Barbies, I was being abused in many ways.

"The door - being locked in closets and the cellar for days on end, and being locked outside in winter storms - never seemed to be on the 'right' side of the door with everyone else;
The phallus demon, sexual abuse;
the skull represents my father who died before the abuse got sexual and wasn't there to protect me, the devil for the people who could have helped but didn't."

Acrylic on 12" by 16" paper.



"Smoldering Memories"

"This painting is about the anger that comes, years later. Things that can't be talked about in polite company, images that come in nightmares and make me cringe and wake up in a cold sweat. At one time, it was enough for me just to survive and get through a day, but the past haunts me now as a sad loss of myself, my trust, my innocence..."

Acrylic on 12" by 16" canvas board.

Smoldering Memories



Angels Look The Other Way


"Angels Look The Other Way"

Oil Pastels on 9" by 12" paper.



Artist's Statement

"I was born and raised in upstate NY, the fourth of six unplanned daughters. My father died when I was five years old; electrocuted in a freak construction accident.

"It didn't work though. I told my mother while she was visiting me. Years later I found out that my uncle had sexually molested his adopted daughter until she moved out years before I lived with him and he bought her silence too. After she found out that I was being abused she sent me to live with my two older brother at my step mom's grandmother's house. My great grandmother would make us behave by telling us that she would send me back to my uncles to live with him again if we weren't good kids.

"Throughout my life, I felt responsible for not looking out for him. I have no memory of a time when I was not physically abused, but many of the paintings I do reflect the sexual abuse I endured from age eight. her (true) daughters were all blonde, and I looked like my dark-haired father.

"A gang rape at age 15 led me into years of drugging and denial, and an abusive marriage.

"At age 46, divorced and out of work, I'm still trying to pick up the pieces and make sense of this life I was given. Putting images on canvas helps me shake a lot of the disturbing memories out of my head, and regain power that was stolen by my abusers."

-- J. Dobyns


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Christa D. Haight, Curator
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