Dee Brown is a professional contemporary artist from the Netherlands creating one of a kind original acrylic paintings. Dee Brown's paintings distinguish themselves from other paintings by using earth-tone colours combined with raw used structures which gives it a warm, and at the same time, industrial look.
What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?
Being creative is in my nature and it is also a kind of natural habitat because a lot of my aunts and uncles are artists. Let’s say I grew up with a pencil in hand so it was never a question really.
How would you describe your own personal style?
In the paintings that I create I use natural earth-tone colors combined with raw structures which gives it a warm, and at the same time, industrial look. Because of the certain use of layers it gives it an aged, worn look which I like. The subject can be anything but mainly it is abstracts and female figures that I paint but I also like cityscapes and houses as subject matter.
What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future?
I like the look and feel of the old and worn. Like it lived a life on is own before it is seen for the first time by a visitors in my gallery. My work is evolving as we speak. I am currently working on high end paintings which are a crossover between sculpture and painting. The canvas on which it is painted is an actual artwork on it’s own instead of just a platform to create on.
What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?
The driving force is to push the limits and bring the artworks to a higher level. The way of painting and what I paint is clear. To try and take it to a next level is what I aim for every single day.
Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?
Teachers and family were the most important influencers for me taking the creative path, but when you become more interested in art while growing up there is the admiration of others artworks and artists that come along the way as well.
When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?
In this matter I try to push myself. So anything goes if it creates the look and feel that I am after. At this moment I work with acrylic paint but am also exploring pencils.
When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes?
Sidesteps and winks to well known artwork aside, I like the composition combined with the colours used in the abstracts. Why do some abstracts sparkle and others just don’t ... that is the magic.
The other beloved subject is the female figure, whose shapes are very universal when it comes to elegance and grace in my opinion
Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?
The ground basics are clear before I start working. Colours are picked and the composition is defined. During the process I make decisions based on how it looks and how it feels. This can even be such radical changes that the starting point doesn’t come close to the end result. In abstracts it is all about creating something that realty stands out and that happens during the process not before.
Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is a more a case of when the moment is right you work?
It is not just painting. It also involves social media, administration, searching for new inspiration, visiting galleries, networking, packing the sold items, arranging shipping etc. No day is the same but of course I feel most comfortable standing before an empty canvas, with fresh coffee in my hand, and some jazzy sound in the background when I start working.
When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?
I work on different pieces at the same time, so they can dry whilst working on another one. It has got to do with the concentration level, working on things I learned over the years, not with the diversity on which you work.
How has your art evolved to be where it is today?
The funny thing is that I had a pretty blurred view of what I wanted to create as a youngster.
At first you start to focus on the technical skills, so you can create what you want with this vision in mind. Over the years you are getting skilled and getting closer and closer to this vision. I am not there yet but have made some big steps towards it.
Which of your artworks are you most proud off?
The body of work that I am creating right now. Pencils drawing on old wood and canvas combined with raw structure, rusted iron, paint and airbrush. It narrows down focus on a lot of skills and composition to let it feel like it naturally blends in.
Is there a fellow artist alive today that you admire? If so, why?
There are a lot of artist that I admire. For me, it is not important if the artist creates the same look and feel like I try to do in my work. If the work excites me, if I see it that is enough. I really like the work of Selwyn Senatori, Kerr Ashmore, Abi Whitlock, Michiel Molenaar, Allessandro Papetti and Casper Faassen…it is very diverse in taste but quality is key in all the artworks of these artists.
If you could travel back in time, is there a particular artistic period / era that you would like to have been involved in?
The beginning of Impressionism was an exiting time because that was the first time the conventional ways of creating were replaced by a new view on how to paint.
What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?
A lot will change in upcoming times. Artists need to be on point to reflect this from another perspective to the viewer. Let them think about this seen from another angle
What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?
Try to master the conventional ways of painting. It will help you to create on a higher level.
Second tip: keep your customer in mind…a commercial way of thinking is not sexy in the creative world, but if you want to live from your work you have to keep those things in check.
Despite having developed your own distinctive style, is there another style of art that you are immediately drawn towards and admire? Why?
The hip hop seen including Graffiti started in the '80’s, at this time I started at Art and Graphic School. We filled a lot of our black-books with graffiti characters and letters. My love for Graffiti and rap music never died.
We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?
No, not in this way. I learn from a painting while working on it and getting new ideas when I paint.
I know when a painting has reached a certain level of acceptance. Sometimes it takes time of to re-think how to manage the problem at hand and how to solve this.
Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expression your creative nature?
Both are important in my opinion. Artists should reflect the changes in the world around them, looking at it and creating another angle so people start to think in a different perspective about the things. Otherwise, an artist should express his own creativity from a introvert perspective, if only for your own well being.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on paintings that are for sale online on sites such as ArtBaazar. It is fascinating to push the limits on each of those art pieces. Next to these paintings I am working on my pencil drawings.
Have you ever been part of an artistic group / movement? How did your work benefit from that experience?
No, never have and probably never will because I strongly belief in finding my own way of creating artworks. The ideas are very individualistic and specific.