Local artist Allison Doke has been accepted to the Artist in Residency program at Chateau Orquevaux in the beautiful Champagne-Ardenne region of France. This acceptance is exciting because although she has always loved art, she hasn’t always had time in her life to focus on creating her own artwork.
Allison knew from an early age that she wanted to be an artist. She drew constantly and would get in trouble in school because of the doodles on her homework. At the age of 12, Allison received an easel and paints as a gift.
“Looking back, my first paintings were terrible. I still keep one painting of a bridge hanging in my studio as a reminder that there is always room for improvement,” shares Allison.
Allison began college as an art major but worried about supporting herself so switched to a degree in Media Communications and Journalism. After graduation, she got busy with her job at CNN and a growing family, so she went years without painting or drawing. She still loved art. Her first job out of college was as a flight attendant and she was able to visit art museums all over the world.
Encouraged by her musician husband, David Doke—who is also Orchestra Director at Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs– she began creating art again. She took classes and joined a local figure drawing group. In 2016, Allison made a commitment to herself to stop procrastinating and start doing. Her goal was to paint every day.
As an artist, she enjoys painting outside, but she also loves being in her studio and working on a large canvas. Allison shares her love for art with her neighbors and children.
“Art makes us better as a society. It cuts across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers. It has the ability to push us forward, to look at things in a different light,” shares Allison. “For children it is vital to develop creativity.”
On a whim last fall, she applied to the Chateau Orquevaux (France) Artist in Residency program. They receive applications from all over the world, and she knew it was a long shot. “When they accepted me I almost fell out of my chair. I was ecstatic but nervous at the same time,” says Allison. “I want to live boldly from this point forward.”
The Chateau Orquevaux Artist Residency emphasizes the human experience and the creative process. As part of the program, she will stay with eight other artists for two weeks in September at a magnificent estate in the French countryside of Champagne-Ardenne. The residency creates a unique environment for the artist in their quest for personal growth and artistic expression. New experiences stimulate creativity and revitalize the creative mind. For this reason, this residency allows the visiting artist to immerse himself or herself in the French country lifestyle.
Allison shares, “I am most excited at the opportunity to collaborate with other artists from around the world. There is a certain amount of osmosis that happens when we meet other artists and see their work.”
In order to fulfill her dream, Allison needs to sell her artwork to fund her “opportunity of a lifetime.” To purchase or see more of Allison’s work, visit her personal Instagram page or dailypaintworks.com/artists/Allison-doke-7018 to see her online gallery.