Never underestimate the important role that a background plays in a work of art and the weight of influence that it carries with it. Some of the greatest backgrounds in a painting are those that go largely unnoticed, not because of their insignificance, but because they were painted with such sensitivity and character as to seamlessly allow for the focus and attention to be placed elsewhere, ultimately revealing the entire story to be told. Backgrounds like these often come as a result of struggle and persistence by the artist until the desired effect has been achieved. It’s the foundation which provides depth and perspective. In many ways, the background is the unsung hero, often overlooked, but so vital to the success or failure of a work of art.

Artist Dean Mitchell is a master at finding the beauty and dignity of everyday life. The feelings and emotions that he captures in each of his watercolors come as a result of understanding the people and places that he paints.


Photo of Dean Mitchell in his studio





Here’s a video which helps to paint a background of the life and work of Dean Mitchell:

Dean has a gift for painting ordinary subjects in an extraordinary way. What is often perceived by many as background material is masterfully brought to the forefront of a painting, giving the viewer a greater appreciation of each subject and reminding us of the important elements that often go unnoticed in everyday life.



In his book, Beauty in the Real: The Watercolors of Dean Mitchell, Dean writes:

“I have always considered my art to reflect the journey of my life; each painting revealing a personal perception of the things, places and people who have touched my life.”

“The real beauty lies in being yourself, even if it’s different than others.”





I’ve greatly admired Dean Mitchell’s work over the years and am so honored to have him as one of the sponsors of the You be the Judge art contest 2013. The Grand Prize winner will receive a hand signed, hard cover copy of Beauty in the Real: The Watercolors of Dean Mitchell as part of the Grand Prize package! This 119 page book contains beautiful full color images of Dean’s extraordinary watercolors and is one that I highly recommend to other artists.

To learn more about Beauty in the Real and to see more of Dean Mitchell’s incredible work visit

For all of the details about the You be the Judge art contest 2013 visit Also, be sure to take part in the contest by voting for your favorite work of art to help decide who the Grand Prize winner will be! The deadline for voting is Sunday, June 16, 2013.