COVER STORY – Dorothy Rhines

Local artist paintings focus on the ‘enchancement’ of home decor

Dorothy A. Rhines was born and raised in Illinois and moved to Florida 25 years ago.  Now a Florida based artist Rhines pursues her careers in interior design and art. She earned her degree from the Chicago School of Interior Design in Chicago, IL. She also studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Il, under Ted Smuskiewicz, Robert Hoffman and Charles Vickery, to name a few. She has won a number of prestigious awards for her watercolors and oil paintings. She is a member of the Brevard Watercolor Society, Brevard Cultural Alliance, and the Florida Watercolor Society. In 1998 Rhines won the Student Award at Brevard Community College. She also studied life drawing at ICC College in Illinois, architect rendering, advanced photography and color and design. While working and raising a family Rhines acquired a library of art books which she read and studied.

This month’s cover art is the magnificent Queen of the Night flower. Watching the 10 inch flower burst into blooms is a sight to enjoy, blooming in June and July. The plant grows and climbs from clusters of aerial roots which grow in clusters along its shoots.

In 2007 she produced an instructional DVD featuring her work and technique with watercolor, where it was promoted on the NASA Station. Her technique is using masking fluid on her drawing on 300 lb. Arches watercolor paper, hitting where the light would be on the objects and letting it dry. Then she begins to pour two colors, yellow and red on the paper letting it do its thing. Rhines lets it dry a second time before starting to paint the positive and negative spaces looking for different size shapes and designs. More than a treat for the eye, her paintings can be a multi-sensory experience. Through her work the artist acts as a virtual tour guide, introducing viewers to the unique wonders of everyday life in Florida. The artist masterful play of light and shadow draws you into the painting.

In 2007 Rhines’ painting of seagrapes was on the cover of a cookbook for the Satellite Beach United Methodist Church, with an additional eight paintings on the index pages. The book was a success and was put into a time capsule for the City of Satellite Beach, FL. including two of her prints of the “Seagrapes” and “Bridges of Desoto Parkway”. 

Rhines’ impressionistic style of transparent watercolor and oils captures the play of sunlight against timeless settings and natural foliage. Her seascapes, landscapes, native birds and wildlife of Florida reflect the color and life around her.

Her career as an Interior Designer and buyer for a high end furniture store helped her get started in doing paintings to incorporate into her client’s décor. Rhines and her husband lived in the small town of Washington, IL, where they built their dream home on 10 acres next to a pond, which was visited often by the local wildlife. 

Rhines found an old bank building in downtown Washington, IL, which is a lot like downtown Melbourne, FL. She bought it and started her business “Art and Design Masterpieces”, where she display artwork by area artists, antiques, jewelry, clothes, accessories and so much more. They started Faux finishing and the business took off like a wildfire, keeping them both very busy.

She has donated some of her paintings to the Alzheimer’s Foundation and participated in the “Paint Around” for the Brevard Watercolor Society “Splash” show where five artists painted each other’s paintings. Lots of Fun!

She has been affiliated with the Upfront Gallery and the Art and Antique Studio/Gallery. You can contact Dorothy at She currently has her studio at home where she paints and teaches 

For more information about Dorothy Rhines and view her artwork visit the websites (Brevard Watercolor Society)