Dot Bunn’s mural of 19th century Philadelphia at Strawberry Mansion

dotbunnmural1I am very happy to call studio oil painter Dot Bunn a friend of mine, and I eagerly look forward to the talk she will give next Wednesday for the Bucks County Illustrators Society, and the public.  Dot’s stellar reputation as a painter won her the wonderful commission of creating a full-room wall mural depicting 19th century Philadelphia, and painting it directly on the walls of the banquet room of Historic Strawberry Mansion in the city.  Dot will discuss her historical research and process for the mural next Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 PM in Paxson Hall at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 84 E. Oakland Avenue, Doylestown.

Dot painted the 500 square foot wall mural depicting the city and harbor as it would have looked in the early 1800s when Joseph Hemphill bought the mansion and added to its architectural details.  She was assisted in the painting by PAFA painter Patrick Connors.

Dot’s oil paintings have been exhibited in solo and juried exhibitions, receiving many awards, and is part of a number of private and corporate collections. She won the Alden Bryan Memorial Medal for Traditional Landscape at the 2011 Allied Artists of America Annual Juried Show in New York City, and Best in Show at the Artsbridge Members Show the same year. She lives and teaches in her Bucks County studio where she maintains a strong commitment to working with and teaching the traditional methods of the masters.

I recommend Dot’s talk next Wednesday for anyone interested in Philadelphia history and fine art painting. Admission for the talk is $10 and for students with ID $5, payable at the door, and the event is open to the public. Seating is first come first served, and light refreshments will be provided.  For further info email

Mural of Old Philadelphia

dotb6I was happy to join several friends from Bucks County Illustrators Society and the throngs at historic Strawberry Mansion yesterday evening to see the reopening of the grand home in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park.  The highlight of the event for us – which topped a tour through the magnificently restored and appointed home – was the second floor banquet room whose panoramic wall mural of old Philadelphia was painted by our good friend Dot Bunn and her gifted colleague, painter Patrick Connors.


Dot was commissioned to paint the scenic port of the city and surrounding countryside as they may have looked in the early part of the 19th century, when Strawberry Mansion was owned by Judge Joseph Hemphill. Dot, Mr. Connors and Dot’s husband Tom tirelessly researched the ships, buildings, flora and fauna of the Delaware River area to create sketches for paintings that would span the entire wall space above the chair rail in the large banquet room.  Through this past summer they painted, using a limited and beautifully coordinated color palette, on dotb7imported canvas affixed to the walls.  (The photos here don’t do justice to the colors – while each element in the mural is easily readable when studying the work directly, the mural blends serenely with the graciousness of the room.)

I especially enjoyed the little vignettes of people and animals throughout the mural – a farmer trundling along in a horse cart, a pheasant suspiciously eyeing the onlooker, a fisherman patiently trolling.  There is also wonderful framed portrait of Judge Hemphill painted by Mr. Connors in a neoclassic style, matching the era of the furnishings.

If you are interested in some of the initial steps of Dot’s process, please see our earlier post .  Dot used Vasari Classic Oil Colors for this work, and the consensus of the artists was that their effect is outstanding.

dotb2The reception was elegantly catered by Brûlée Catering, completing a very fine event.   The city of Philadelphia and art lovers are indebted to The Committee of 1926 (who restored and maintains Strawberry Mansion) for preserving this landmark, commissioning Dot’s and Patrick’s outstanding mural, and for hosting a delightful opening for the public tonight.  The Mansion is open for tours April through December from Tuesday to Sunday, and I highly recommend it as a newly-restored gem of Philadelphia history.

Bucks County Illustrators 2013 Member Show

bcismembershowpcThe art on this postcard is by Becca Haushalter Klein, an up-and-coming illustrator in our area, a huge Disney fan (perhaps you could tell) with a Belle (of Beauty and the Beast) personality.

The illustrators of BCIS have had the good fortune to be invited to create a Member Show, to be hung in the large gallery of the Cultural Center at the Pearl S. Buck estate in Perkasie, PA.  Becca’s illustrations just explode with mood and magic, and we were very glad she gave the ok for us to use her illustration for our card.

There will be a variety of other lively and imaginative illustrators exhibiting in the show, including

James Bennett, Dot BunnAmanda Condict, Joe DeVitoHeather DavulcuPonder Goembel, Pamela HamiltonMonika HinterwaldnerDeb Hoeffner, Denise Callanan-KlineKim Kurki, Linda LaRoseChristina ManietKathryn Maxwell, Steve Ottey, Rebecca Rhodin, Dave SongJoe TacynecEric Wight, Glenn Zimmer and myself.

If you are in the area of beautiful Bucks County, PA, from June 26 to 28, you should take a look at our show – especially Friday the 28th, when we’ll have an open wine and cheese reception from 7-9 pm.  More info at theBCIS website at