Artist’s ‘Abstract Realism’ Paintings Capture the Wild Bond Between Women and Animals

Abstract Realism Dimitra Milan

Artist Dimitra Milan is something of a painting wunderkind. She's been a professional artist since she was a teenager, encouraged by her artist parents and guided by her innate ability to combine realistic elements with colorful, ethereal settings. The alluring fusion is known as abstract realism. Each piece, with its recognizable forms and free-flowing elements, invites you to study and consider the color, symbolism, and technique.

Women and animals are two recurring characters in Milan’s work. “I always come back to this story of a woman with an animal,” she tells My Modern Met. “The women I paint are symbols, they represent our truest self where we know deep down anything is possible. Everything in nature has a deeper meaning beyond our surface understanding of its function, especially animals.

“When I paint, I don’t set out to illustrate a concept; I try to find what it means after I finish. Out of all the animals I paint, wolves continue to be my favorite because there is a lot of nuance within their symbolism and they hold so much personal meaning for me.”

If you’re like us and find Milan’s works both beautiful and intriguing, you can learn to paint just like her on My Modern Met Academy, our e-learning platform with online courses in a variety of creative subjects. Milan’s class is called Abstract Realism: Introduction to Mixed Media Painting. Over the course of several lessons, you’ll work together to create your own abstract realist art.

“This is a super fun and expressive process,” Milan says of her class. “Combining abstraction with realism can seem tricky, but after taking this class you will feel empowered to paint anything you set your mind to.”

Dimitra Milan has been a professional artist since she was a teenager.

Abstract Realism Dimitra MilanAbstract Realism Dimitra Milan

She's been encouraged by her artist parents and guided by her innate ability to combine realistic elements with colorful, ethereal settings.

Abstract Realism Dimitra MilanAbstract Realism Dimitra Milan

The alluring fusion depicted in her work is known as abstract realism.

Abstract Realism Dimitra MilanMixed Media Painting by Dimitra MilanMixed Media Painting by Dimitra MilanMixed Media Painting by Dimitra Milan

Women and animals are two recurring characters in Milan’s ever-growing portfolio.

Abstract Realism Dimitra MilanAbstract Realism Dimitra MilanAbstract Realism Dimitra MilanAbstract Realism Dimitra MilanAbstract Realism Dimitra Milan

You can learn from Milan in her online class on My Modern Met Academy called Abstract Realism: Introduction to Mixed Media Painting.

Abstract Realism Painting by Dimitra MilanAbstract Realism Painting of a FoxDimitra Milan:  Website | Instagram | Facebook

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Dimitra Milan.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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