Community Sketchbook

Sunday, November 7, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 3:16 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

Title: The Gossip

Artist: Dawn Trinkler

About the artist: Trinkler, 32, is a full-time artist with an innovative “no brushes” method of painting with acrylics. She specializes in portraits, female figures and horses. The Jefferson City native won “Best of Show” at the 13th Columbia Festival of the Arts.

Trinkler’s novel approach to brushless painting was born out of necessity. During her sophomore year at Kansas State University, Trinkler was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, an injury affecting the ligaments in the wrist caused by frequent, repetitive movements that rendered her right hand unusable for months.

Unable to continue painting with brushes, Trinkler toyed with combs, toothbrushes, ketchup bottles and Matchbox cars — anything she could get her hands around. But it was a simple squeeze bottle used to apply hair dye, which gave her the fresh, gestural lines she was looking for.

She uses each squeeze bottle to deposit “layered washes” or puddles of different colors, which she then quickly guides along the canvas with her bare hands and fingers.

Trinkler’s paintings range in price from $300 to $14,000. The artist’s work can be viewed on her Web site,

About the work: The Gossip is an acrylic painting created with a palate of more than 10 different colors. To create a strong composition of the three female figures, Trinkler studied a stack of newspaper clippings of women in different poses.

She says it’s the viewer’s personal interaction with the piece that gives it any number of meanings.

“No matter how you look at it, I love the ambiguity,” Trinkler says. “I love to have my work to be ambiguous enough for people to tag on their own interpretations.”

Muse wants your artwork. Submit paintings, drawings or photos to Brian Wallstin at 221 S. Eighth St. in Columbia or e-mail Include your name, the title of the artwork and brief information about yourself and the artwork.

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