Dean Bradshaw grew up in the Santa Monica Mountains in southern California. From an early age, nature became his closest friend. He spent every moment he could, hiking and observing the intricacies of her light and form.
By the time Dean was in grade school, he was translating his experiences in nature to paper and canvas. He won many awards at art in high school, and a scholarship to the prestigious Art Center Institute in Los Angeles.
As an adult, Dean spent several years in southern France where he painted and submersed himself into the local culture. While there he gained an appreciation for the decorative arts and period furniture. Upon his return to the states, he had a rare opportunity to study furniture design and fabrication from the world-renowned Andre Liardet whose studio was in Beverly Hills, California. He started his own successful business in 1976 where his heavily painted and carved works can be found among royalty, stars and prominent business people around the world.
In 2006, Dean decided to devote his talents to painting full time. He lives in the mountains of northern Utah and finds himself surrounded by some of the most spectacular subject matter for which an artist could hope. His use of both the brush and the palette knife renders this visual wonderland into compelling landscapes. “It makes the work very textural and it keeps me from focusing too much on detail. For me, it becomes a much more spontaneous way of painting. When I paint thick, with a lot of color, it tends to be more on the feeling side than the technical side.”
In painting, Dean seeks to achieve abstract quality using recognizable shapes. He works plein air, relying on good memory and photos for minimal reference. “Painting directly from nature means the world to me. It opens up new dimensions in the way I see light and color and deepens my appreciation for nature and life as a whole.”
Known for his strong textures and saturated colors, Dean makes up his own hues, often heightening them, yet remains true to nature. “When I come across a scene I want to paint, it’s because of its strong design element and dramatic lighting. I like to do deep aspen interiors, because the range of subtle colors makes an overall unified, harmonious painting. It takes a lot of driving and hiking to find that one great scene.”