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Artist Brightens Valley With Works From The Heart
Bright And Bold
adele 1
Oakdale artist Adele Dowlin, at home in her dining room with one of the larger canvases she has created. The mixed media artist creates colorful artwork of multiple layers using acrylic paint as well as other mediums. Teresa Hammond/The Leader


One never really knows when misfortune may result in opportunity.

Local Artist Adele Dowlin can attest to this, just three short years and countless paintings into an unexpected hobby.

“I broke my ankle and I needed something to do,” Dowlin said.

She noted that the break resulted in surgery, which left her inactive for a period of time.

Always interested in art, Dowlin decided to take an on-line art class offered by an artist in Portland, Oregon during her down time. A class which three years later has led to countless colorful works which surround her home, as well as the homes of others.

“I’ve always loved art,” Dowlin shared.

The artist added her love of art began in childhood; yet pursuing the skill quickly fizzled as criticism of her skill came from adults whose opinions she respected.

Dowlin went on to receive her Masters Degree in Business. She currently works for Gallo, running the Corporate Training Department, as well as varying other Human Resource projects.

“I’m a mixed media artist,” she said. “I paint in layers and I never really have the end in mind.”

Dowlin paints primarily with acrylic paint, incorporating collage, water color, ink, book pages – basically whatever inspires her in the moment. She admits to having two to three canvases going at once, with no time restriction on when a piece might be finished.

“I enjoy putting on my favorite music, grabbing whatever supplies and colors appeal to me in the moment and seeing what takes shape on my canvas,” she said. “I work on each piece over a series of sessions that can cross days, weeks or even months, layering and editing until I feel that the piece is complete.”

And even then, she might not be finished. The self-proclaimed Type A personality confessed to passing a piece in her home months after completing it and returning it to her home studio to “modify” it.

“It’s a really, really good de-stressor for me,” the wife, mother of two and busy professional said. “I’m a Type A, very ambitious and very driven. The weird thing is, when I paint my mind goes quiet. When I paint I can let go of everything else. I don’t worry about the outcome.”

The outcome, however, has proven to be well received. Dowlin was first encouraged to share her talent by her husband Paul, through a Farmer’s Market hosted at Oakdale Golf and Country Club. It’s an event which went better than expected and resulted in a commission piece.

A somewhat simplistic subject and an expectation by the customer left the artist admittedly uncomfortable. Even going as far as to tell the client she didn’t need to pay her unless completely satisfied. Much to her surprise the completed work exceeded both client and artist’s expectation and now hangs in the client’s home.

“Art’s really, really personal. I have a pretty bold style,” she said. “You can’t make a mistake. Even a mistake you learn from it.”

As Dowlin stared at three recently started canvases, she shared her future ambitions, including one of setting a personal goal to place her work in future art shows.

“I would love, after I retire to be an actual artist,” she said. “It just quiets my mind like nothing I’ve ever done before.

“I’m much less of a control freak than I used to be,” she stated since taking up painting. “Painting is really messy so it’s allowing me to let go.”

To view a sampling of Dowlin’s unique and colorful artwork visit She can be reached by e-mail: or by calling 209-568-6304.