"Kansas Farmlands" | Watercolor | 22 x 30 inches

Ones to Watch: Dean L. Mitchell

Painter Dean L. Mitchell brings an emotional palette to his work as well as an expert hand, an exceedingly superior eye and an authenticity that yanks your beating heart from your chest. 

Working in both oils and watercolors, Mitchell often knows beforehand which medium the painting is going to need. Other times it’s not as clear.

“Sometimes I’ll do a series before I know what medium I’m using,” Mitchell says. “Watercolor allows me to do a spontaneous series and get to know a subject well before I really go for the final.”

Because he’s always searching for an intimacy in his work, trying to capture the soul of a subject, Mitchell likes to fully explore how to approach his pieces.

“I want to be proficient at something, of course, but there’s another level I have to push myself beyond,” he says. “It’s the other something … that’s the toughest part. To bring the total emotional content to the work is a spiritual process.” 

Mitchell finds himself drawn to vanishing sites: old homes, things with historical value, places where people’s lives were woven into buildings and landscapes. 

“I like to do portraits of the common working class,” he says. “To give a voice to something people tend to discard.” 

His art can be found in corporate and museum collections across the country, including: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi; Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Beach Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri and the Library of Congress. 

Mitchell has received more than 400 awards including the T.H. Saunders International Artists in watercolor competition, London, England; American Watercolor Society Gold and Silver Medal; Allied Artist of American Gold Medal in Watercolor and Oil; Thomas Moran Award from the Salmagundi Club in New York; Remington Professional League and for three years in a row the Best in Show Award from the Mississippi Watercolor Society Grand National Competition. 

Dean L. Mitchell is represented by Astoria Fine Art in Jackson, Wyoming; J. Willott Gallery in Palm Desert, California; Medicine Man Gallery in Tucson, Arizona; E & S Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky; and Cutter and Cutter Fine Art Galleries in St. Augustine, Florida. 

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