Dorothy Lorenze: Classical Still Life Oil Paintings

By Cassie Rief in Featured Artists > Oil Paintings

Dorothy Lorenze is known for her vibrant, realistic still lifes that convey luminosity, depth and complexity. And, with her penchant for portraying vintage items, it’s clear she also enjoys celebrating all the nostalgic feelings those objects evoke.

Speaking of vintage, let’s take a look at Betty’s Painting Book below! The red and blue designs of the book are wonderfully echoed in the paintbrushes and tinted glass cup, bridging old and the new with their similar hues.


Of course, I adore the image of the little girl on the book, from her Mary Janes to her bouncing bob. It brings to mind many of the books and other items my grandparents used to have lying around, which is a wonderful feeling.

Draped sideways across the table is a soft cloth which provides depth to the painting, as well as a resting place for several items. It’s clear that the book is inspiration for Dorothy’s own style, and perhaps it even sparked her own interest in painting.

Like many still life painters with an eye for finding beauty in the unexpected, Dorothy says she finds inspiration in the surprising moments of color and pattern in familiar objects. I think both are apparent in Gypsy Pears.


Light bouncing off the perfectly plump pears reveals their gorgeous contours and—combined with their dramatic shading—makes them appear multi-dimensional, as if I could reach into the painting and pluck one out.

The dark blue of the woven fabric beneath them, and the earthy red table planks balance the brightness of the pears (and tassels) with a more subdued color palette, keeping the viewer’s eyes focused on the central “characters” of this gorgeous scene.

Lastly, the rich, luxurious purple of the cabbage in Red Cabbage and Vintage Stripes puts me over the moon in love with this piece!


You can almost feel the cabbage’s squeaky texture, just by looking at the waxen sheen Dorothy glazed over the vegetable. Then, take in a different kind of texture—the chrome seasoning shaker—so shiny and smooth with its elegant curves.

The sharp knife cutting directly across the composition tells the final piece of the story—it all ends in the crisp crunch and taste of a well-seasoned cabbage!

Keep in mind, I haven’t even touched on Dorothy’s interior paintings, which showcase some beautifully painted ornate rooms. I encourage you to visit her portfolio website and see those as well!


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