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Local Artist Feature: Dorothy Collier

Source: Dorothy Collier
Source: Dorothy Collier

“I can’t believe I get to do this for a living!” Source: Dorothy Collier

Originally from in Franklin, TN, Dorothy Collier is a Southern artist now based in Memphis. Collier pulls from her Southern roots and antique influences to create unconventional, simplistic folk-art in the budding community of Memphis artists.

To be in the Memphis creative community is such a rewarding experience. So many new and exciting things happening in this city regarding the arts and I am honored to be in the mix!

Source: Dorothy Collier

Source: Dorothy Collier

Collier’s love affair with art first began with influences from her grandmother, entranced and inspired by the historic, one-of-a-kind trinkets and knick-knacks surrounding her youth. After years of somehow balancing being a full-time middle school art teacher during the day and a full-time artist in the early morning and late night, Collier boldly resigned from the education field in 2011 to pursue her true passion of creating earthy, rustic art.

While growing up in the south, running around my grandmother’s antique shops, I quickly found my love for all things unique and antique. I have chosen simplistic elements to mirror my folk art influences and enjoy using quick gestural lines to give my vintage subjects a strong, soulful voice.

Diving headfirst into being a studio artist with no safety net of income to fall into, Collier was faced with having to find a way to publicize her art quickly. With much guidance from Laura Howell, Gild the Lily’s owner, Dorothy has achieved incredible success in the retail world, now selling art in over 40 stores in the southeast region within one year.

Source: Dorothy Collier

As Collier continues to grow and make a name for herself, she remains loyal to her eclectic style. Veering away from typical unadorned canvases, Collier adds life to her backgrounds with book pages and musical staffs to literally and physically tell stories through her art.

Source: Dorothy Collier

Source: Dorothy Collier

By painting oil on canvas or board, using backgrounds of paper from weathered books, my pieces become narrative. I paint to create a sense of whimsical beauty and in some pieces, hope to prompt the viewer into a child-like happiness.

In addition to paintings, Collier recently released a line of greeting cards. With much of her art being based around pages and words, success for Collier in this line of work was inevitable. This January, Collier was chosen as one of the “10 Designers to Watch for in 2016” by Stationery Trends magazine, a tremendous honor in the paper industry.

Show your love with one of Dorothy Collier's Valentine's Day greeting cards! Source: Dorothy Collier

Show your love with one of Dorothy Collier’s Valentine’s Day greeting cards!
Source: Dorothy Collier

Collier’s down-home, Southern inspired art has made appearances in stands at local markets, such as the Cooper-Young Festival and About the South in Mississippi, as well as larger, national markets, in places such as Atlanta and New York City. In 2013, Collier was nominated for Martha Stuart American Made. She has also been featured in several publications, such as Southern Bride Magazine, Memphis Flyer, Front Porch Art, Memphis Daily News, Style Blueprint Memphis here and here, and Country Style Magazine.

Check out Dorothy’s website here.

Purchase Dorothy’s art directly on her website here and her Etsy shop here.

Connect with Dorothy on her blog here, Facebook here, Instagram here and Twitter here.

For any inquiries or requests, contact Dorothy at

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