Dena Tollefson Bio

Dena Tollefson In Studio 2009Dena Tollefson

Dena Tollefson is a full-time, professional artist from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Her “Daubism” body of work is a unique process she developed, where “daubs” of individually mixed oil paint are applied with a palette knife with isolated, cupped shapes of color. The largest daubs are applied with a serving spoon, allowing ridges of paint which catch the light and appear to dance as the viewer moves past the painting. People are drawn to the texture – many describe her work as low relief sculpture in oil paint. Tollefson’s work  focuses on botanicals, ponds, skies, and her Corn Series of work, biographies where people are depicted as ears of corn. Her work is highly tactile.

Tollefson completed a set of 4 commissioned paintings for the CEO of Starcom MediaVest in downtown Chicago. Her work hangs publicly and in private collections throughout the US.  She is represented in galleries nationally in Arizona, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Florida. Two of Dena Tollefson’s paintings are in the permanent collection of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.

Dena Tollefson has participated in  juried shows in Texas, New York, California and Georgia and has won awards at the national and local level, as addition to participating in 21 gallery group shows and exhibits.  She is a member of Allied Artists of America and the Oil Painters of America.

Tollefson was born in 1965, graduated from Iowa State University in 1988 and lived in Dallas Texas before returning to Iowa in 1991 where she developed her unique, highly textured oil painting style. Tollefson is a Certified Chartpak/Grumbacher  Fine Art  Painting Workshop Instructor. She is married and has 2 sons.