This Hoover resident came to Birmingham for nursing school and graduated from UAB, where she met my husband, a Birmingham native, of 45 years. They have two daughters and three grandchildren. Dee has taken her paintbrushes on many of the couple’s trips to paint on location. While in Scotland painting a fish and chips shop, the owner came out and bought her painting—so, you might say her work is collected internationally.
How did you get into art?
I have always been mesmerized by God’s creation and creating things, and even before I started painting, I collected and attended art shows and galleries while on vacation and in the area where I lived. In 1990, a dear friend died and her husband gave me her brushes. He had no idea how meaningful that gesture would be nor where it would take me. As a result of that gesture, I took up painting with a vengeance, and since I had never established bad habits in art, everything I learned was absorbed into each stroke of the canvas. I truly found my voice in painting and could escape to the studio if I had had a bad day at work. It was extremely gratifying.
What is your preferred medium?
Oils are my preferred medium, but I have also painted in watercolors, acrylics and pastels. The exuberant quality of oils and their consistency allows me to achieve a rich permanent painting that has depth and durability for the ages.
What inspires you to create?
Everywhere you look there is inspiration. God has provided a palette of images which allow the painter to try to emulate and copy, and with our smartphones and technology, you can achieve great success, but the ultimate for me is painting “en plein air.” I love to set up and paint a landscape which tells a story in time. It could be a neighborhood garage sale, a marathon, a group of volunteers hosting an event to raise monies for childhood cancer patients and their families, Boy Scouts setting up Christmas trees, the local food truck waiting to unload their feast for the hungry buyers, a sweet grandchild enjoying a day on the river or my grandchildren’s sports activities and teams.
What impact has art had on your life?
It has certainly changed the direction of my life from full-time nursing to thinking about art on a full-time basis. I loved my career as a nurse, but art allows me to capture people and places in a moment in time. It has given me a platform to speak to others through art and demonstrate that original art is much more tangible than a print of something anyone can buy.
Who are your role models in the art world, and why?
Of course, I love all the impressionists since that is how I describe my works from Monet to Degas to Twatchman. But my first tangible role model was local gifted full-time artist Barbara Evans, who will always leave an indelible mark on each of my paintings. I have studied with many local, regional and international artists, who have allowed me to stretch the boundaries and refine my skills.
Dee’s art can been seen at Fairhaven Nursing Home, Big Oak Girls Ranch Boutique, Dawson Memorial Recreation Center and the traveling exhibit throughout the state featuring 200 years of Alabama Then and Now. She has a studio in Hoover where interested persons can see by appointment. She still participates in local art shows, and her current works can be viewed on her website, deefallsart.com.