Texas native Elizabeth Dryden is a Contemporary Southwest Artist in the Dallas/Fort Worth area making a wave and grabbing the attention of the Texas art scene and beyond. The many layers intertwined together in her mixed media work make each piece a lawless mystery to unfold. While colorful and lively in spirit, there are volumes of information to be discovered below the textured surface. Elizabeth is inspired by the mystery of the desert as a whole, but focuses her artwork on the enchanting and indestructible flora and fauna that reside there. The subjects of Elizabeth’s work are primarily cacti and indigenous animals, which she uses metaphorically to express various life virtues hidden within the brushstrokes of paint and various paper and textured mediums.
The natural beauty of the American Southwest has always fascinated Elizabeth. She breaks down subjects and themes into a magical exploration of color and shape. Further exploring cacti and various desert inhabitants in bright, vibrant Southwest scenes, Elizabeth combines the paradoxes between longstanding traditional ideals against modern society.
Elizabeth grew up in Dallas and has since relocated back home after leaving for college and life’s adventures at the University of Arizona in 2000, which began her lifelong fascination with the mystic of the desert. Graduating from Texas Woman’s University with a degree in Art Education in 2005, she has since lived in Arizona, Washington State, Kentucky, and Boston, before returning back home to her favorite state of Texas. Elizabeth resides in Dallas with her cat Rupert and dog Pete.
7151 Gaston Ave
Dallas, TX 75214
As seen in
2003: Associates of Arts from Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ
2004: Endicott Elementary School elementary student teaching for Art. Endicott, WA
Awards and Achievements
2014: Artist of the year for Sarasota Polo Magazine, Cover art, Sarasota, FL
2005: Chancellor Student Research Scholar Award for Art, TWU
2003-2005: President of the Art Teacher’s Network, TWU
2003-2005: Member of Delta Phi Delta Honor’s Art Club, TWU
2018: Texas Treasures Fine Art Gallery: Fall Group Show, Boerne, TX
2018: Texas Treasures Fine Art Gallery: 7th Year Anniversary Group Show, Boerne, TX
2017: Cinq Gallery: “Ember and Smoke” Group Show, Dallas, TX
2017: Featured Work, Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, Denton, TX
2017: Featured Work, Dallas Safari Club Show, Dallas, TX
2016: Kettle Art Gallery: For the Love of the Artist Group Show, Dallas, TX
2015: Fort Work Gallery: 10 Under 30 Group Show, Dallas, TX
2014: Annual Sarasota Polo Magazine artist and solo show, Sarasota, FL
2012: Stephanie Ann: Birds and Cages, solo show Highland Park, TX
2009: 135th Kentucky Derby Group Show, Louisville, KY
"Western Art Collector Magazine" September 2020
We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Dryden and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elizabeth, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
The most important lesson my career as a professional artist has taught me over the years is to believe in myself. To make art that comes from my heart and realize it might not be for everybody and that is ok. That is what makes art and each individual’s likes and dislikes so unique! I have had people tell me that the only way Id make money as an artist is “after I die”, or “don’t quit your day job” statements, or it would be impossible for me to be an artist because I didn’t look the part. Ive had galleries tell me my prices were too high, and at the same time galleries telling me that my prices were too low. When you are doing something “different” than the norm, I feel like it is easy for people to judge or disapprove because they may not fully understand who I am and just how much I am willing to work for something I believe in. This is my dream and I had to learn that only I can accomplish it, regardless others opinions and free advice.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Dryden.
Elizabeth, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I began creating art as a child. I loved to paint and draw colorful animals that surrounded me like birds, or horses. I loved the way it made “grown up” people react when I would give them something that I had made. To see their faces light up and to return later and see it still on their wall or on their refrigerator, was always a rewarding feeling. I felt that I was giving them a piece or myself, or a gift from my heart. A connection or a form of communication that was deeper than simply using words to say “I appreciate you” or “I love you”. I could express much more through an image I created. Fast forward through troubled teen years, college, a marriage, a divorce, and many moves across the country, my artistic ability was always something that remained a constant in my life. It became a voice that I could use other than words to express myself. I began exploring paradoxes of good and evil, and using elements of art to portray the balance of the two. As a professional artist, I began with a series of horses while living in Lexington, KY. Inspired by their strength and beauty, while also viewed as a machine and income generator, the paradox leant itself to an interesting subject. My divorce leads me to my next venture, the “Caged Birds” series, which addressed the concept of being “caged” or disabled from reaching your full potential by some type of obstacle. These “obstacles” could be a career, a relationship, a location, finances, a disease, children etc. Exploring several new series including “Orchids”, the completion of a life-sized horse sculpture for the city of Lexington, KY, the designing of a “how to paint” at-home painting program called “Social Artworking” (sold at craft stores nationwide such as Joann’s), a Pet Portrait business called “Edryden Pawtraits” (which donates 10% of each piece to an animal shelter of the client’s choice), and multiple commission pieces, I have stayed very busy exploring different faucets of the artworld.
DecoArt "Social Artworking" How-To DVD
Elizabeth Dryden, an artist who is originally from Highland Park but currently lives in Uptown, Dallas, has joined The Art Menu, which is an online gallery that is dedicated to featuring artwork by Dallas-area artists.
Dryden produces mixed media artworks that are filled with symbolism and metaphor.
“The idea of how something, anything, can be interpreted so differently by each individual person intrigues me," Dryden said. "We all have had different life experiences, we have our own opinions, and our own values and beliefs — therefore we each have our own idea of reality. My art is my own reality and the way I see things. It’s a language I use to say what I can’t express in words.”