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Artist starts new path after leaving business career
University of Georgia graduate Dawne Raulet decided to forge an art career after having children.

Quinlan Winter Exhibitions: Artist Dawne Raulet
When: Through Feb. 20, 2017
Where: Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St. NE, Gainesville
Cost: Free
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Self-taught artist Dawne Raulet describes her journey into art as unexpected.

Graduating in 1990 from the University of Georgia, Raulet “basically went into sales and was an institutional stockbroker for almost 15 years.”

But then she had her two children, which led to a career change.

“I just wanted to be at home with them to raise them,” Raulet said. “I kind of retired from one career and started on the art path. Over the course of a few years, that all of a sudden became something that I thought I could maybe make a living at.”

Only taking a few classes for art, Raulet explained that she is mostly “self-taught” and just “knew the look (she) was after.”

“Really and truly I kind of fell into it unexpectedly. It’s not something I studied in school or ever thought I would do,” Raulet said.

As for artistic career, Raulet explained that she now shows her work locally.

“Here in Atlanta I show exclusively through Huff Harrington Fine Arts,” she said. “What I really love to do is paint what I like then hang my pieces and have people buy them. I do a lot of commission work, usually based on what I’ve already painted before or a certain animal or something like that. It is definitely my job besides being a mom.”

Right now, Raulet has work on display at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center as part of its Winter Exhibitions.

Raulet recalls being involved at the Quinlan for about seven years, and she was approached by Amanda McClure, Quinlan Visual Arts Center Executive Director, to have her work displayed.

Raulet is “delighted and honored” to be a part of the exhibition at the Quinlan.

“There is constantly so much going on there, especially during this festive time of the year and the people at the Quinlan couldn’t be more encouraging and supportive,” she said.

But at first she wasn’t sure about what she was going to be displaying.

“This summer I went back to Kenya and took my daughter and my parents this time. We were on a photo safari and that became my inspiration for this show because we saw all kinds of different animals there. It was a neat way to capture moments that were so exciting and special to us.”

“I kind of have two or three different categories of my art,” Raulet said. “The ones that are being displayed right now are what everybody really recognizes as Dawne Raulet. They are typically on the background with usually animals as the subject matter. They’re mixed media and basically I start with photography, my own photography, and from there I use lots of layer of different things until I like it and then I move forward from there.”

She has other inspirations as well though.

“I also love landscapes, although I haven’t done a lot of landscapes lately because I’ve moved to abstracts, which are super fun and I’m enjoying that. The other one I’ve also done a lot of lately are what we call the “swinging dresses.” Those are just recognizable because they’re very unique and textured. That’s also mixed media.”

Raulet plans to continue with her art and take classes once she’s an “empty nester.”