FEATURED ARTIST: Deanna Bowdish
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.
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.
In 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.
“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.
“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.”
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!
Check out the $2 Art Contest!