Dena Tollefson's Original Paintings Art You EnJoy Annual Exhibition Adelman Fine Art San Diego, California

| 02 December, 2018 14:39

by Dena Tollefson 

Come see 8 of Dena Tollefson's original highly textured paintings at Adelman Fine Art in San Diego, California. This beautiful boutique gallery is located in the tony Little Italy section of the city. Please stop in and say "hi" to gallery owners Phylicia and Nicole!




New YouTube Dena Tollefson channel painting videos

| 22 October, 2018 14:40

by Dena Tollefson


"Sunflower Embrace" Acrylic on stretched cotton canvas 30"x20"x1.5" copyright Dena Tollefson

I created a short video for you showing the making of this painting. Search for Dena Tollefson on YouTube, or click on the link above to find videos of my painting technique and process, set to soothing music. Please watch my videos and leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you!


Dena Tollefson Monarch Paintings

| 23 August, 2018 15:04

by Dena Tollefson


Painting in process copyright Dena Tollefson
Adding some more daubs of paint to my Monarch butterfly painting.
I am trying to capture the joyful flight and yet delicate nature of the Monarch.
Our local county- Linn County, Iowa- is working with private individuals and corporations to help conserve, nurture, and support our butterfly population.

Dena Tollefson Solo Exhibition at Canyon Road Contemporary in Santa Fe

| 02 July, 2018 13:35

Thanks to Nancy Ouimet and the staff at Canyon Road Contemporart Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a wonderful opening reception for my solo exhibit!  In photo above, I am doing a demonstration of my signature daubism technique inside the gallery. In front is a peek of a sculpture by Adam Rees and next to me is a landscape painting by Mark Bowles.

Up Close and Personal with my new painting, "Barnabas's Sky"

| 07 May, 2018 15:02

by Dena Tollefson

Detail of my latest Sky Series painting "Barnabas's Sky"... You can see the texture of the strokes of paint created with a palette knife. The largest daubs are made with a spoon. 

What is your favorite butterfly?

| 23 April, 2018 17:32

by Dena Tollefson


"The Journey" 16" x 20" x 1.5" Acrylic on Stretched Cotton Canvas copyright Dena Tollefson


Sneak peek! This Monarch is the first of a new series of butterfly paintings.

I am taking a poll- what is your favorite butterfly? Please let me know by sending me a comment on Instagram or on my Facebook Page- Dena Tollefson Art.  Votes received so far include favorites of Monarch, Yellow Swallowtail, Luna Moth, and the beautiful Blue Copper Butterfly.


Peek inside at a painting installation

| 04 April, 2018 10:34

by Dena Tollefson

Pictured: "Adoration" Acrylic on cotton canvas 30"x40" copyright Dena Tollefson

Thank you to the Baker family of Dallas, Texas who commissioned this painting though the Artist's Showplace Gallery! I think it looks great hanging in their beautiful home

Sneak peek of new Dallas commissioned underpainting in progress

| 17 September, 2017 19:11

by Dena Tollefson


Sneak peek: I am putting the finishing touches on this sunflower underpainting commissioned through Artists' Showplace Gallery who represents me in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas couple who is commissioning the painting wants a 30" x 40" vertical sunflower painting with cobalt blue background done in my daubism technique. This painting will get a full texture covering of daubs and then be shipped to its new forever home. I will post a picture when the painting is complete.

New Tollefson Daubism Technique Painting: Peaceful Garden

| 25 July, 2017 14:43

by Dena Tollefson


"Peaceful Garden" oil on canvas 36" x 36" x1.5" copyright Dena Tollefson

I am excited to finally complete my latest Daubism painting- this one is called "Peaceful Garden". It is oil on canvas and now needs 5 months of drying time in my studio before it can go to its forever home.

Dena Tollefson- a Great Time Painting at Canyon Road Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico

| 19 May, 2017 11:18

by Dena Tollefson


I had a wonderful time painting at Canyon Road Contemporary Art, the fabulous gallery who represents me in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 


Here is a view inside the gallery showing my latest work. Note the yellow and blue pansy painting on the easel in the right side of the photo- this is the painting I finished en plein air at the painting demonstration.


Here is the finished pansy painting- "The Young Family" 18"x24"x1.5" copyright Dena Tollefson. The interwined pansies in the foreground are a young couple who are in love. They dream of starting a family, represented by the pansy blossom behind them.


Preparing to ship new paintings to Artists' Showplace Gallery in Dallas, Texas

| 08 March, 2017 15:43

by Dena Tollefson


Studio dog Muffin Tollefson stands sentinel as paintings are lined up for shipment to Artists' Showplace Gallery in Dallas, Texas.

How to Paint a Three Dimensional Mosaic

| 24 January, 2017 13:10

by Dena Tollefson



More progress on my large tulip triptych. I am focusing now on the play between bright, fresh greens and wram oranges and reds. The closeup shown is part of a 40"x60" painting of tulips. Oil on stretched cotton canvas, copyright Dena Tollefson


Adding thick, juicy daubs of white oil paint on the large tulip triptych. 

I am mindful of how and where I am placing the strokes of paint, my goal is to accentuate the feeling of movement in the painting and create a feeling of a mosaic.

If you look closely, you will notice the area on the bottom right side of the painting has a section of plain white canvas in need of attention.



Mosaic as an Oil Painting Technique

| 04 December, 2016 15:46

by Dena Tollefson

What are your thoughts on mosaics?

Mosaic is the thousands-year-old art technique of assembling small stones, glass, metal or other materials into a pleasing permanent pattern, with origins in early Mesopotamian and Roman art. 
There is a textural contrast and depth between the materials and ground.

I find mosaics fascinating how the individual pieces all contribute to the whole- I want my paintings to have a similar idea where overlapping petals of paint all stand on their own and then contribute to the total.

In the painting technique Daubism I developed, I am going for a low-relief sculpture in paint- a mosaic of oil paint daubs on a smooth oil paint ground, with all the little daubs working together to form one overall image.

Shown here is a detail closeup of my painting "Breath of Heaven: To Frolic" The painting is 48" tall and 72" wide.

I hope you see the influence of mosaic in my work, especially in the waves.

Closeup of  "Breath of Heaven: To Frolic" copyright Dena Tollefson

Dena Tollefson and Lydia Piper Featured Artists at Canyon Road Contemporary Santa Fe 2016 Holiday Show

| 15 November, 2016 15:24

by Dena Tollefson


I'm excited to announce Lydia Piper and I are featured artists at Canyon Road Contemporary Art Gallery Santa Fe's 2016 Holiday Show!

Featuring sculptural oil paintings by Iowa artist Dena Tollefson and kiln formed glass by New Mexico artist Lydia Piper. 
The 2016 Holiday Show begins on Black Friday, November 25th and runs through December 31st.
Come add original art to your holiday list!





Peek at a new giant painting in process

| 15 November, 2016 10:27

by Dena Tollefson

Here is a peek at a new giant painting I am making- a triptych of tulips. You can see the canvas is toned with yellow ochre and a underpainting of the tulips is started. The finished painting will be red tulips with a white background.

Tulip Triptych in process copyright Dena Tollefson

Here is a peek at a new giant painting I am making- a triptych of tulips. You can see the canvas is toned with yellow ochre and a underpainting of the tulips is started. The finished painting will be red tulips with a white background.

I am working on aluminum risers because the painting is too large for my biggest easel. 

The panels will be covered with the scales/daubs/spoons of paint as a last step. I begin first with a layer of yellow ochre paint, then draw in the shapes as you see here. Next step will be a full color underpainting and then my texture technique on top 

 Key is that the painting looks like tulips now- otherwise as I add the texture the subject is in danger of being lost- a trick to keep the balance between texture and subject

I will post updates to this painting as progress is made.