Certain color combinations can make us react in a surprising way by evoking a feeling or memory, and that's often the feeling you get when you look at the work of Miriam Dubinsky. A full-time artist based in Denver, Miriam creates vibrant, joyful paintings and prints that transport you to a world of color and whimsy.
Growing up in San Francisco, Miriam was surrounded by creativity. Her father was an architect and designer, and her parents were very supportive of her pursuing the arts. As a teenager, she attended an art boarding school where she discovered her love of printmaking through the creation of metal plate etchings, and later studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before ultimately landing in Denver.
Mountain Cats was created in 2020 when Miriam was working as a preschool teacher. Having not painted on canvas for several years, Mountain Cats was one of Miriam’s first paintings as she started diving back into the medium again. “Interestingly enough, it started with a giant mushroom in the background, and I was mostly playing with the color at that point - layering all of this gouache and ink,” she says. “There’s probably over 20 different layers on the painting… but I knew I wanted to create this fun, alpine mountain for the image.” Initially, Miriam didn't plan for there to be cats in the painting: “It took me three months to actually figure out the image. It sat in my home studio and I kept looking at it, and finally I added the cats. For me, it was like this mountain alpine scene, a beautiful place… the cats were so playful and their forms really felt right.”
Miriam hopes that when people put Mountain Cats together as a puzzle, they will be able to recognize small details that they might not have noticed before. "I hope the literal reconstructing of the image brings more attention to details that may have been lost if they hadn't had so much time to connect with the painting," she says. With several coats and layers of color and ink, you’ll start to pick up nuances in the heaviness of Miriam’s brush strokes, different transparencies in the hues, and underlayers of colors that peek out through the top.
I hope the literal reconstructing of the image brings more attention to details that may have been lost if they hadn't had so much time to connect with the painting
Miriam's signature style exudes color and positivity, with a consistent focus on botanicals and animals as her subject matter. Her innate understanding of color is evident in every piece, and she describes color pairings with hyper-specificity: "Soft fuchsia pink with a deep wine magenta color. Electric vermillion with a brown that looks like iced coffee. A very transparent cyan laid over a stop sign red or process magenta." When it comes to her prints, Miriam often creates a lot of different versions that experiment with color relationships. “The act of swapping out just one color can make it completely change,” she says. “Up until recently, I really had just been picking colors that felt super happy, and tended to gravitate towards the brightest options I could find. Now, I’ve really started doing a lot more testing of the colors and pre-mixing them.”
Today, Miriam has a successful art business that she runs out of her studio in Denver. Frequently popping up at local art markets and events in Denver, as well as her former stomping grounds in San Francisco and Chicago, she loves to meet her customers in person where she can get a real-time reaction from them. Kids and adults alike gravitate to Miriam’s work because of its joyfulness and colorful nature. “It’s such a nice and approachable way for people to interact with my art,” she notes.
Transport yourself to a world of color & wonder and shop Miriam’s body of work here.
Shop Miriam's puzzle, Mountain Cats
Follow Miriam Dubinsky on Instagram
Learn more about Miriam's charity of choice, United We Dream