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Friday, July 31, 2009

Artisan of the Week DeDe Sorensen

Known for her use of striking colors and expressionism within the framework of realism, artist DeDe Sorensen is drawing national and international attention for her style of art that she describes as Pragmatic Expressionism. "In true expressionism, the emphasis is on the subjective expression of the artist's inner experiences rather than on the subject itself", explains DeDe. "My work, while expressionistic, is more strongly rooted in reality because I am at heart a pragmatist.

Fine Arts Education:
I started drawing in mid-1986 and completed my first oil painting, Waterfall shortly thereafter in August. I began exhibiting my work in October 1992. My first sale of art and my first private commission came in early 1993.

Professional Overview:
Throughout the years as a full-time professional artist, I have had the opportunity to work in numerous capacities within the visual arts field such as art instructor, art workshop lecturer, art conference panelist, art competition juror, portfolio/scholarship judge, gallery board member, visual arts publicist, and arts-business author in addition to the private commissions, commercial illustration and gallery exhibitions/sales normally associated with an artist’s career. My fine art is in private collections throughout the U. S. and in corporate collection in Kentucky. Two of my works have been acquired for permanent collection by museums; in the U. S. and in England. I have exhibited in galleries in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Pennsylvania and Idaho. My illustrations have been published in the U. S. and abroad in Spain, France and Argentina. My arts-related writings have been published in various periodicals in the U. S. including The Artist’s Magazine.

Artistic Philosophy:
Striking colors and expressionism within the framework of realism are the elements that make my work hard to categorize in present artistic terminology. Thus, I describe my work as Pragmatic Expressionism. My work straddles the realms of realism and expressionism marrying the controlled documentation of everyday life alla Norman Rockwell with the emotional renderings of inner struggles alla Vincent van Gogh - two of my artistic heroes. In true expressionism, the emphasis is on the subjective expression of the artist’s inner experiences rather than on the subject itself. My work, while expressionistic, is more strongly rooted in the reality of the subject because I am at heart a pragmatist. Extensive travel throughout my adult life has played a major role in my creativity. Embracing the unique beauty of each region while finding those familiar things that can make a new place feel like “home” is the challenge of every nomad. The artist faces a similar challenge to find those things within the subject that are common to humanity while embracing that which makes each subject unique. As an artist, what I bring to the work is my own particular viewpoint expressed not only in what I choose to paint, but also in how I present the subject to the viewer – whether I wish to accentuate its unique characteristics or convey its commonality. I strongly believe that my art is a gift and, whenever possible, I should use my art to aid those who are in need -- to speak for them through my art or use my art to raise funds or both.

Primary Artistic Themes:
I tend to gravitate toward the primary themes of land, sea, sky, felines and food; although I do explore other topics when inspired to do so or the needs of a client dictates.

Personal Information:
I was born in Ashtabula OH on September 5, 1961 at high noon - four minutes prior to my twin sister and number seven of nine children. My then two-year-old brother is responsible for my nickname as when he said “Denise”, it came out “dee-dee” and I have been called DeDe ever since. My mother is responsible for the odd spelling. At the age of eighteen, I joined the Army and left Ashtabula. I was stationed at a secure installation in Augsburg, Germany where I met my husband of twenty-six years who was stationed at the same installation. We have four beautiful children, or rather, successful young adults (our youngest is seventeen). We are proud homeschoolers. Prior to settling in Hanover PA in 1995, we lived in numerous locations across the United States and in Europe.