Emily Dunagin was incredibly fortunate to study in her youth in Oklahoma City with Richard and Edith Goetz. They had been trained at the Arts Students League in New York City, the best training ground for academic art and traditional portrait painting. Richard Goetz painted several of the portraits in the Oklahoma state capitol and later taught for many years at the Arts Students League. Edith Goetz was a wonderful artist, who, with her photographic memory, was able to paint children from glimpses as they scampered through their living room/studio, while playing with her six children. From the Goetzes, she learned the basics of drawing and oil painting.
In college, Emily studied art and humanities for two years at SMU, then she attended a junior year abroad program in Germany, where she spent all the hours she could at the great museums of Europe. She received a degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, with a concentration in architectural rendering (illustration). She worked several years in architecture then married and raised a family. During her working at home years, she did architectural illustrations of historic buildings, churches, and commissioned house illustrations. When the nest was empty, she rented a studio and returned to her early love of fine arts drawing and painting. She has maintained a portrait painting studio in McAlester, Oklahoma for the past 14 years.
Because she is geographically isolated, she has gleaned much of her training from books and videos, from her continuing travels to museums throughout the US and Europe, and especially from workshops in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Tennessee. She has attended five annual weeklong workshops in Nashville, taught by nationally renowned portrait painter Michael Shane Neal. She attended the January, 2009, Art Students League workshop taught by Everett Raymond Kinstler, America’s premier portrait painter. She has painted subjects from Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Shawnee and Sherman-Denison, as well as some outside of her home region.