Artist's Statement

"This is the kind of art that can give pleasure to many.  Color and line are applied with great elan to achieve paintings of deceptive simplicity.  The territory is familiar, but Dahmen's deft handling creates joyful images that are a feast for the senses"                                                     Miles Unger, Boston Sunday Globe

My most recent landscape paintings are the result of my wanderings around the mid coast area of Maine for the past ten years. Walking in the woods on the mainland, on islands, and along the Damariscotta River near my home, I see paintings everywhere.  The complexity of the woods is challenging.

The large scale format of many of my landscapes helps to create a space into which the viewer can enter.  My ideas begin in the natural world, but once a work is underway, the paint itself on the flat surface takes on a life of its own. Two dimensional aspects interest me and the views I choose have patterns that bring attention to the surface of the painting. At the same time,  I am creating a spacial environment, not necessarily of a particular place but of my reverence of a particular place.  In fact, I am as interested in painting what's out there as what's in here, and in communicating my deep attraction to this mid coast Maine landscape where I live.

The still life paintings are inspired by my home surroundings.  As in the landscapes, two-dimensional aspects interest me as much as the subject.  I often favor a top down view in setting up my still lifes because it flattens the depth of the paintings and allows for an  arrangement of items spread out across the picture plane.  Space extends in every direction, and the eye moves from object to object, as opposed to a one or two-point perspective where the eye is drawn to a vanishing point somewhere within the scene.

"to be nobody but yourself

in a world which is doing

its best day and night to

make you like everybody else

means to fight the hardest

battle which any

human being can

fight and never

stop fighting"

          e  e  cummings