Dorothy Shain, a Charleston, South Carolina based artist, has a dynamic portfolio. From her pool bar paintings to her hand dyed linens, Dorothy’s exploration of mediums is reflective of the colors, textures, and patterns drawn from her adventures around the globe. Heavily influenced by her travels, which commenced during her Semester at Sea while in art school, Dorothy has taken her experiences back to her easel allowing the art to reveal the inspirations and influence of the cultures, people and places seen.
While abroad in college, Dorothy spent time in Rwanda where the East African landscape awoke her senses and the locals tugged at her heart sparking an interest in human rights, which she would later add to her studies. After finishing college, she spent time living on a ranch in Colorado, worked as an event planner in D.C. and enjoyed the travel that came along with it.
Over coffee, Dorothy takes me across state lines and continents, sharing how her travels have inspired her as an artist and ignited her passion to experience new places. Dorothy reflects on the vibrant South Beach scenes she encountered during her time in Miami, which she captures using an eclectic mix of colors, clever pattern play and geometric-like composition in her recent pool bar paintings. You can almost hear the music playing poolside.
South Beach inspired "pool bar", unframed.
Each destination has added new insights, influences and personal discovery; which is often instrumental to an artist’s creative process. She is enjoying the freedom to experiment with her craft, not feeling the constraints of project specific study common to art school. Settling into her studio in Charleston, Dorothy enjoys being surrounded by the energy of fellow Redux studio artists and the broader Charleston creative community. The community has afforded her unique opportunities, such as meeting with an indigo farmer, and learning more about the dyes she would later use in her hand dyed linens. Browsing through some of Dorothy’s pieces, I am fascinated by the outcomes, sophisticated pattern, and rich colors. I can only imagine how each piece must bring Dorothy an element of surprise and adventure as the fabric and dye work together, with her guidance, to create a one of a kind work of art. One might surmise it is similar to the unknown and excitement of visiting a new place.
For the month of November, Dorothy will head west to Southern California seeking fresh inspirations and experiences that will undoubtedly inspire new work and allow her to continue to grow as an artist. I cannot wait to see what is next.
Dorothy Shain is a Greenville, SC native currently living in Charleston, SC. She began her painting career as an art student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Dorothy has been featured in Rue Magazine’s “Rue Daily” and Glitter Guide’s “12 Artists You Need to Know” by Chassity Evans of Look Linger Love. See more of Dorothy's work at www.dorothyshain.com.
Photography by Davy Kesey (headshot), Amanda Greeley (textiles), and Candice Lanning (pool bar).