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2011 February 15

Click to Subscribe to by Email!MY LITTLE

When the $2 Art Contest began, I did it to make sure I featured at least one artist per month. But as it turns out, I’ve become fiercely protective of what I have come to consider my little lambs.  Many of them have been producing and showing work longer than I have, but I feel this need to nurture them and watch them and be proud of their proudest moments.  It has become the unexpected joy of this experience.

As I often have to remind myself, choosing a Featured Artist is not about separating the good artwork from the bad. It has become about the challenge of picking from amongst ALL of the good work.  Thanks for that.

Like many of you, my life is frenzied and full of things that I love… and things that I don’t.  So, I have a soft spot for visual places to rest, for work that makes me smile.  I am tickled pink when I later find beautiful theory behind the work afterall.

Learn more about Deanna Bowdish online!This month’s artist
has brought a ray of sunshine into my gray February.


The Featured Artist chosen from January’s entries is painter Deanna Bowdish. Bowdish’s work is a happy place.  The work is like a challenging tromp uphill through the daises… in 4″ heels.

Deanna Bowdish


Deanna Bowdish was born in Solon, Ohio in 1976.  As a toddler, flopping her red paint-soaked body across moms green shag carpeting, Deanna’s father was assured of his daughter’s innate sense for color and balance.  A trip to France and Italy at age 16 to study the great masters compelled Deanna to give up her parents’ hopes of her going into the medical field.  After considerable negotiations with her parents and the promise of an “employable minor,” she was able to follow her dreams and concentrate on a fine art career.  Bowdish painted in the Minneapolis metropolitan area for seven years featuring works in several shows and galleries. 

Ripple Effect 1 by Deanna BowdishIn 2002 Deanna stumbled into the Lowcountry of South Carolina to house sit for her sister and began exhibiting at The Gallery in Beaufort, South Carolina.  Bowdish subsequently purchased The Gallery in 2004 fulfilling a long-held dream and creating one of the most dynamic and eclectic assemblies of art in the region. 

Bowdish lives, eats and breaths art. 


She is always experimenting with a new material or a new way of achieving a different outcome with the same materials.  She loves to challenge traditional methods and break the rules.  But when Isuggested her work might be mixed media, I found that she really considers herself a painter.  Take a look at her beautiful commissioned pieces of functional artwork pictured below at the Breakwater restaurant in Beaufort, SC. 

Commissioned work by Deanna Bowdish“I consider my work painting and myself a painter, my process just happens to incorporate mixed media right now.  Once I am happy with the painted surface, I then begin the destruction of my creation, usually the most stressful part as I am always hesitant about cutting up such a magnificent creation, but then I quickly recover and go to town with my exacto knife.”

Her work is an explosion of color and texture, creating a frenzy of energy and movement, very much like her own life.  Deanna seeks to find harmony and balance amongst the frenzy.   

Gridlocked Series 10 and 16 by Deanna Bowdish“The large surfaces are cut down into smaller components in preparation for the next stage in my process. These pieces are either woven or sewn back together depending on the final piece that I am creating. 

The ripple series is woven then mounted to a permanent surface and covered with resin.  The quilts are sewn back together using the sewing machine.  The final construction phase for both processes is quite exciting as I see a whole new painting coming to life before my eyes.”

“I feel overwhelmed by all the infromation that is thrown or forced at me; emails, mail, texts, television, tweets, facebook alerts, radio ads, billboards, its everywhere coming at me from all angles.”

My life is a game of dodgeball —
me against the information age. 


“The frenzy and frequency of this information could be crippling, but I choose to challenge the waves of information and reintroduce it in my own painted language.”

Painted Quilt Circle 1 by Deanna BowdishArt therapy for an optimist.
I may be in love.


But what about the food?  This IS, afterall, a food-themed art blog.  I don’t know if I just attract foodie-artists or artistic foodies.  Or, maybe artists just think that food is the way to my heart because most of the artists I interview have phenomenal culinary tastes.  When Bowdish’s secret tastes were probed?  Pizza and Hawaiian kettle chips.  No joking.  Her honesty is as refreshing as her artwork.

There are a few questions I’m going to have to quit asking… What school of art do you think your work falls into?  The answer is always “an eclectic mixture,” but I think Bowdish’s influences, living and deceased, may be more telling than the amalgumation she claims.  Deceased influence?  20th century abstract expressionist painter Richard Diebenkorn.  One of her living influences?  Painter turned sculptor, Laura Lloyd.  I see how the pieces fit together.

I am really restless for Spring.  I want to walk shoeless through cold grass, and Deanna Bowdish got me as close as I can ask.  Thank you! 

Learn more about Deanna Bowdish online!

Learn more about Deanna Bowdish!

Want to be a Featured Artist on
Check out the
$2 Art Contest!
26 Responses
  1. February 15, 2011

    To really appreciate Deanna’s work, you have to see it in person. I know that is true with all artists, but even more so for her work. It is worth a trip to Beaufort, SC to see it!

  2. Jenny Rone permalink
    February 15, 2011

    I have to agree with Richard but this story and the images really give you a great picture of her work. My husband & I have been collecting Deanna’s work since 2006 so our house is like a retrospective. We are also the proud owners of her ripple series as the counter top for our kitchen island. The last piece we purchased was pre 2006 I believe just so the historical retrospective could be more complete ~ someday it will hang in its designated space 🙂

  3. February 16, 2011

    From the day I met Deanna, singing in her Gallery on Historic Bay St. Beaufort , I was pleasured by her friendly self and her Art. Seriously creative, she is a bright spark in Beaufort, and quite a new age edition to the community. Also she tirelessly supports the support of local artist & students with her gift of time and knowledge. When downtown , I make it a point to drop in for that smile. Love the days she was painting in her window for public display of the artistic process. Ha ha good times, and another pleasure is to see what she will wear to an event! Beautifully written article about a wonderfully gifted artist.

  4. Lisa Rentz permalink
    February 16, 2011

    To quote another great artist, She’s delightful, she’s de-lovely, she’s Deanna!

  5. Emily Turner permalink
    February 16, 2011

    I had the pleasure of working for Deanna at The Gallery, and I own some of her work. I always, ALWAYS get compliments on them and I never stop bragging about them. 🙂 Not only is she gifted when it comes to art, but she also has the most generous heart and kindest soul.

  6. alison klinakis permalink
    February 17, 2011

    hmmm, where to start?? great person who makes great art who is fun to be around and a beautiful person inside and out!! her inviting attitude and warm receptions are much appreciated by this whole community!! not to mention, she has a great sense of fashion, great ink and she rocks the best shoes…ever!!!

  7. Cindy Reid permalink
    February 25, 2011

    Great article!Talent + personality = Deanna!Her artwork is crazy good and her leadership in the arts make her unequalled in Beaufort.(Plus I always enjoy her fantastic fashion style!)

  8. Judy Lust permalink
    February 25, 2011

    Awesome work . . . love your talent and enthusiasm! Judy

  9. February 25, 2011

    Always humbled by those of you who are able to get your hands to create what your hearts and souls feel…love the image of Deanna’s red-paint footsteps across the green shag carpet….how wonderful to know what your “drawn” to so early in life, and, then, to follow that call!

    I’m a “newbie”, still getting to know Deanna and her work, but can say that Deanna’s gallery is a place of light and warmth, the colors a celebration of jubilation, welcoming and stimulating. I can tell Deanna’s spirit shines through all her work and all she gathers together, artists, their creations, collectors and admirers.

  10. February 25, 2011

    Kudos from one artist to another! I really enjoyed seeing your work while visiting charming Beaufort. The textures are so much richer in person.

  11. February 26, 2011

    From the moment we met at Deanna’s gallery I knew this energetic lady had an uncanny ability to absorb and understand other artists’ philosophies behind their work… just what’s needed for an artist who just happens to also operate a successful gallery. I am now an exhibiting artist in her dynamic gallery and she has been both enthusiastic and supportive of my art and its message. I truly admire Deanna for her vision as an artist and unselfish love of the visual arts.

  12. February 26, 2011

    Deanna is a wonderful artist and I enjoy bringing my out of town guest to her gallery on Bay St. It is like
    visiting an art museum, with so many talented artist.
    Her art lights up the room just as her presence does. I love her energy and enthusiasm. Kudos to you!
    Claudette Humphrey

  13. February 26, 2011

    Deanna is colorful, extroverted and dynamic — all qualities that come through in her artistic expressions. She is a welcome — and surprising — addition to the Beaufort art scene. She constantly explores her own creativity. And, through The Gallery, her participation in the Arts Council and other local art world endeavors, she is extremely supportive of other artists. Considering the large and varied collection of talented artists whose works she showcases at The Gallery, I am honored that she includes my Neck Rocks jewelry as well.

  14. February 27, 2011

    Wow, your leading the way! Its always nice to see artist getting the spot light; selling some works is nice too. Doing both is awsome.
    Best wishes from the

  15. Barbara Katell permalink
    February 28, 2011

    Looking forward to visiting your gallery again when we come back to Beaufort mid-March….always a treat!!

  16. Ginny Piech Street permalink
    March 4, 2011

    I’ve known Deanna for a number of years. Her studio ethic is amazing considering she also runs her gallery. The evolution of her art has been amazing to watch. Check her out. She’s cutting edge.

  17. Audrey Montgomery permalink
    March 9, 2011

    Great work…I especially like the Gridwork Series, So energetic!

  18. March 26, 2011

    Hated to miss the Art Walk. I’m planning on visiting THE GALLERY and viewing your new work on Monday March,28.

  19. Jill Moore permalink
    October 19, 2011

    Grand Rapids will never be the same after a visit from Deanna. Love the art, love the artist.

  20. Jerry Stocks permalink
    December 4, 2011

    Great article about a fantistic artist and person–her gallery is a favorite place to stop by on Bay St.

  21. Kathy Webb permalink
    December 13, 2011

    Deanna is a wonderful art dealer and artist. I have purchased several pieces of art from her gallery, both in person and on visits to Beaufort. She’s always so helpful, and informative. I love her art! It is fun and organic. It celebrates life. The day is just better with Deanna and the gallery-beaufort!

  22. December 31, 2011

    A vote from another featured artist….. love this work Deanna!
    Have you ever considered teaching at Penland in NC?
    – best Joseph

  23. December 31, 2011

    I can’t think of a more deserving artist to be the featured artist of the year for AAAD!

  24. December 31, 2011

    Wonderful work!

    Deanna, your love of color and your brave and creative approaches to your work inspire me.

    Thank you,

    Susan Gainen

  25. Jenny Rone permalink
    December 31, 2011

    She’s still rockin’ …. had another great showing at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids…. And I’m still waiting for that pre-2006 piece I referred to oh so long ago 🙂 …..heard a rumor that its “mounting” was to be my xmas present…..the hole in the wall is just awaiting!…..Seriously though a fabulous artist who I personally could not live without!

  26. Barbara Kelly permalink
    December 31, 2011

    Deanna’s Gallery is a town gem. I find her to be one of South Carolina’s most colorful and talented people ~A major spokesperson and supporter of The Arts for our state; an artist who weaves color, textures and culture in the most unique way. I cast my vote.

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