Dorothy Art

American Made Since 2012

Dorothy Collier

Memphis, Tennessee
Dorothy Art: Creating original oil paintings of whimsical subjects on canvas, atop vintage book pages and sheet music.

Tell us about your business.

Growing up with my mother as a full-time artist, I have always been drawn to well...drawing! And painting. I loved connecting to many artforms and artists at a young age. I started selling my artwork after undergrad, but went on to recieve my Master's in Art Education. While I was teaching art, I knew that painting is what I wanted to solely do! I cranked up the volume in November of 2012 and haven't looked back! I start each piece by finding vintage book pages or sheet music, and in commission cases, wedding invitations, personal quotes, or love letters to use as the background on the canvas. I then create my oil paintings ontop, depicting whimsical subjects. Each final work is unique and has depth and small details, thanks to the narrative backgrounds. I hope to create pieces that customers will give, recieve, and cherish in their homes for a lifetime. I hope that my paintings bring joy to those that see something new every time they take a look.

What makes your business stand out?

My artwork is created through the inspiration brought on by the vintage books I find. Each piece is different and tells a story through not only the painting itself, but the actual story line of the book and the previous life these old books once had. In addition, my friends, loved ones, and customers inspire the pieces! People have come to me with love songs their grandparents sang to each other, silly phrases their dad says, wedding invitations, handwritten letters from neighbors who will miss their old friend who is moving, old maps of their city, their childhood story name it! put in the background of their custom painting. It is then automatically and unbelievably personal! People love art because they make a connection to the subject. And I love it that I can make that connection for you! You can inspire me to create my next piece!

What's the best business advice you've received?

To paint what you want hung on your own walls at home. If I love it, someone else in the world is bound to like it as well. About three years ago I wanted a painting of my silver pattern. I knew I could paint it, but I love collecting other's artwork. And I searched and searched and I couldn't find one. I thought, "I guess I'll just make it myself." I also had just started a mini collection (like 4 or 5 books! Now I have about 400!) of vintage books. So what did I do? Painted it on vintage recipes. It was a painting I wanted. Thankfully and to my surprise, others did too. So I've gone with that advice and haven't stopped painting subjects and in the style I adore!

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 9, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    Vote now
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

    Buy tickets now

More Finalists