Born in 1953 in Santa Monica, California, Dean Bradshaw won a scholarship to study at the Art Center in Los Angeles, but chose the medical school route at UCLA instead. After working his way through school for a famous furniture maker in Beverly Hills, Dean decided to move to Utah in 1978, where he began making artistic handmade furniture and painting portraiture for prominent families in the 1978-1981 period.
Dean Bradshaw also started showing his paintings in Park City galleries in 1980, and won a Silver Medal at the Springville National Salon in 1980 for a plein air landscape. After developing his furniture business, Dean decided to return to full-time painting.
The Utah-based artist works in oil using both brushes and palette knife to render compelling landscapes.
“It makes the work very textural and it keeps me from focusing too much on detail,” says Bradshaw. “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 his painting Bradshaw seeks to achieve abstract quality using recognizable shapes. He works plein air, relying on his good memory and photographs 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,” explains Bradshaw.
Known for his strong textures and saturated colors, Bradshaw makes up his own hues, often heightening them, yet remains true to nature. He begins each piece with a pencil sketch to ensure the design is pleasing. From there he applies thick layers of paint while referring to his photos in editing the composition.
“When I come across a scene 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,” notes Bradshaw. “It takes a lot of driving and hiking to find that one great scene.”
Golden Splendor, for example, comprises thick brushstrokes with all the complexities of light and design and color-all which inspire Bradshaw’s work.
“I drew my inspiration from the stunning glow of the yellows and oranges that permeate the scene,” says Bradshaw. “I’m hoping the collector is awed by nature’s majestic palette of color.”