by Jan Cox
[media-credit id=53 align=”alignnone” width=”300″][/media-credit]Multi-talented could be a term used for Dottie in both her life pursuits and in her art. Clark credits her aunt for influencing her artwork when she was young. When she moved to Lake Almanor in 2000, she took classes and workshops from art teachers both in the Lake Almanor Basin and in Chico and began drawing and painting in earnest.
Having grown up in Chico, CA, Dottie began her undergraduate work at Shasta Community College, Redding, where she took art classes from some excellent teachers. Transferring to CA State University, Chico, she received a BA degree in Liberal Arts and Psychology and an MA in psychology, and worked as a school psychologist in the Redding schools. Later, she had her own private practice and also became a day trader in her spare time!
Clark loved working with live models and was taught the classical method for this type of drawing. She kept playing with this form until she developed her own style. Several of her pictures show a minimalist bent, where she finds just the right brush strokes to portray the person.
Other works, especially her nature watercolors, reflect what she learned from her Japanese teacher who advised her to “get into the subject.” By that Clark means not just the objective reality of the picture but the “zen” aspect of the piece.
When Dottie begins a piece she goes through three steps. First, she becomes mentally aware of what she wants to portray and then prepares physically by getting the equipment and space ready to proceed. Finally she gets into the flow of the subject as she paints. If it is a person she is painting, she first talks with them to find out who they are inside and what strokes best bring that out. If it is a nature picture, she tries to discover what is there that needs to be shown.
Dottie says that using charcoal and graphite is very tactile, but she loves watercolor, considering it a very interactive medium. She chooses subjects that she reacts to.Then when the paint is down, she will respond to what it has done on the paper. It is this interaction of artist and medium that creates her fascinating artwork.
Clark’s work can be viewed at Books and Beyond, Backroom Gallery in Chester, CA, in the Plumas County museum in Quincy, and in December at Morning Thunder in Quincy. A home art tour is available by appointment. Call (530) 259-5424.