Deborah Worthington Dorsey

Red Jacket
Red Jacket
oil on linen 30" X 24"

Deborah Dorsey paints the figure from live models not photographs. Figure painting is after all the study of life. Working from life was practiced by all the great figure artists of the past.Inspired by these artists, Dorsey studies how the light flows over the model so that the figure in the painting looks real not flat and has structure.

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Painting from life enables Dorsey to capture an interesting gesture or pose. With the model right in front of her, she has the boldness to put on canvas vibrant color as it is perceived. At the least, she steers clear of muddy flesh tones!

Phone Call
Phone Call
oil on linen 23" X 19"
Gamblin Award, Audubon Artists, 2007

Cafe Scene
Cafe Scene
oil on linen 19" X 23"
Private Collection

A painting may begin as a chance photo in the street or a sketch in a cafe. Dorsey then works out the composition on paper or bits of canvas. Models may pose for the main figures, but the spaces around the figures in the painting are just as important as the figures and must be integrated with figures using perspective, repetition of colors, contrast of light and dark areas and so on.

 

The composition of this painting hinges on a triangle established by the three areas of red. In additon, the dark purple, blue, and black areas form an "L" shape, while the yellow-green areas form an interlocking upside down "L" shape. There is a glass partition which separates the cafe from the street. The boy with the coffee mug is further back in the cafe, but his image intermingles with the reflections in the glass partition and suggests the different layers of reality that are part of the meaning of this picture.

Friends in a Cafe
Friends in a Cafe
Oil on linen 20" X 16"
Winter
Winter
oil on linen 30" X 40"
The artist cannot neglect meaning. Dorsey studies the personality of the models and friends who pose for her. She aims to capture the soul of the model and create a work of art that can be lived with and looked at over time.
Sometmes a figure painting seems to call for the viewer to interpret the personality of the characters portrayed and their relation to each other. Why not get the viewer involved?
Convertible
Convertible
oil on linen 22" X 28"
Elias Newman Memorial Award, Audubon Artists, 1999
Private Collection
girl in a car
Girl in a Car
oil on linen 44" X 34"
hydrangeas
Hy
drangeas
oil on linen 19" X 23"
train
Train
oil on linen 32" X 44"
Elizabeth Stanton Blake Award, Nat Assn Women Artists, 1990
where shall we meet?
Favorite Deli
oil on linen 24" X 20"