Dori Bolen is a mixed-media artist and a designer of historical-period embellished décor, whose creations have been described as present-day museum pieces
Her high-value art pieces reflect the art de vivre, taking the observer on romantic journeys across a number of cultures and eras. The meticulous quality of her work truly needs to be seen to be believed.
Dori’s most recent pieces include impeccably finished French Leg Dining Tables, French Side Tables, Desks, Letter Caches and Vanities with Benches, as well as Jardinières and beautifully decorated large Linen Trunks.
Dori brings a new dimension to the decorative finishing technique Lacca Povera, together with Chinoiserie, Rococo and Baroque styles, which combine to create spinning illusions and to envelop décor in a veil of mystery. She uses a mix of hand-applied heritage paints, craquelé and iridescent tones of fine metals. Her methods of varnish layering are based on an alchemist’s recipe found in an antique book, and are similar to techniques used by Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century. Dori’s work is strongly influenced by Renaissance and Romanticism art, by old masters and paintings of historical figures, and by ancient buildings, including European castles and abbeys.
Dori first exhibited her artwork commercially in 2004, focusing initially on bridal fashion. Her work then naturally evolved to home décor, from fashionable furniture pieces to jeweled boxes designed to encompass even the smallest treasure: ‘Today’s past in an opulent Adoriables box’. She has exhibited her mixed-media artwork widely throughout the United States and has been featured in the Worldwide Guild of Découpeurs, in Renaissance Magazine (Issue 96, March 2014) and in a wide variety of newspapers for festivals and exhibitions. She has shown at events with Northern Californian artists, Pacific Fine Arts festivals, and with the Contemporary Crafts Market in Pasadena. Dori has been commissioned to compose artwork for the S. J. Peploe exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern art. Most recently Dori has been commissioned to create a limited-edition collection for the grand opening of the new visitor center and shop of The Huntington Library in San Marino.
Dori was raised in California, and from an early age nurtured her creativity in a variety of fields. She studied theatre and majored in Dramatic Arts. She enjoyed a career in dance, gaining a teaching degree and running her own dance classes for eight years. Dori later gained a degree in computer science, which allowed her to combine work with travel. So began her passion for gathering ideas and imagery from a myriad of cultures and sources of history – inspiration that still has an overwhelming influence on her artwork today. Dori’s art is mainly self-taught, in addition to techniques gained from her son, David who holds a masters in Fine Arts and regularly shows his tromp l’oeil paintings in Hollywood galleries, Dori has a strong emotional connection with Scotland and visits the country several times a year. For the rest of her time she now resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, Brent, and her adorable dachshund.