As a kid, I was always drawing and loved any type of project that involved making things – craft projects, woodworking, painting, etc. When I was 10, I remember receiving an art kit for Christmas. It was wonderful. The kit had a series of pencils and charcoals, but the best part were the watercolors. Not the hard pans like at school, but real watercolor paint in tubes. I practiced for hours. The movement this medium could take seemed like absolute magic. Looking back, I really don’t think I was particularly good, but I absolutely loved the process of putting paint on paper. And just like a kid who receives a set of golf clubs for Christmas, if you go out and play 18 holes every day, one day you’re just going to be able to golf. And one day along the way I was just able to paint.
Summers growing up were spent camping, fishing, and hiking around Oregon. It was then I developed a real love of the outdoors which continues to this day and is the inspiration of most of my art. I still make an effort to get out as often as possible; whether it be fishing, camping or photography.
Somewhere along the way my wife, Molly, suggested that I paint something other than a fish or fishing scenes. I remembered wondering “What else is there?” Being a master gardener, she suggested painting a hummingbird. It was at this point my career was sent into another direction – nature and wildlife.
About five years ago I was contacted by DEMDACO. They had seen some of my work and were interested in licensing my art. At the time, I was doing about 15 regional art shows a year as well as selling to a few local shops and galleries. I had always hoped of branching out and the possibility of teaming with a company like DEMDACO was very exciting as it provided an opportunity to share my work with people I could never have dreamed of otherwise.
As an artist, I believe one of the most rewarding aspects is the ability to ‘strike a chord’ with someone else, most likely a complete stranger who sees your art and wants to take it home. DEMDACO has a mission to “Lift the Spirit” in the products they develop and sell. For me, this is really what it’s all about – making someone feel good by simply brightening their day. Whether it’s an item for their own home they enjoy every day or a special gift for a friend or relative, ‘Lifting the Spirit’ is a wonderful thing to share. I feel very blessed to be a professional artist, and if my work can brighten someone’s day, it certainly brightens mine as well.
— Dean Crouser