In the Artist's Studio: Dee Harvey
There is a quote by Scott Peck that says:
“If we know exactly where we’re going, exactly how to get there, and exactly what we’ll see along the way, we won’t learn anything.”
I think of this when I hear about the journey of Dee Harvey. There are so many wonderful artists that we (collectors) follow and learning about their journey is one of the joys of my work. I recently had the honor to speak with Dee and learn more about her love of art, or as she puts it: how she “loves creative life”. Dee currently resides in the Bay Area and is a wife, mother, grandmother, artist and journalist. Her mind never stops, and she is always creating. Read on to find out not only her journey to date, but also what she has in store for us in the future.
I always like to study the artists and their history. Dee’s history is not only filled with art, but in journalism as well, so that’s where I wanted to begin our conversation:
Dee always loved art and has always been in a creative mindset. In the 1990’s she met Nicol Sayre at a craft show and became fast friends. It was in this friendship that they started creating Folk & Whimsy patterns and she started up Holly Berry Hill which was her company that sold patterns she and Nicol created. She and Nicol were at a quilt show one year when they were approached by Bethany Lowe. Neither of them immediately accepted any type of reproduction agreements, but after a couple years of consideration she eventually worked with Bethany Lowe Designs and became a licensed artist under Dee Foust. She remained with Bethany for about ten years before moving over to ESC & Company where she can be found now continuing to bring her wonderful creations to her collectors.
If you dive into her journalist background, she was responsible for publications from Better Homes and Gardens with “Santa Book”, “Christmas Ideas” and “Weddings” to name a few. You can go to her website and see a myriad of publications she was involved with. When she started at BH&G she had to relocate to Iowa and found it wasn’t a great fit so after moving back home to California she worked another three years before they agreed it wasn’t economical to continue the partnership.
After talking a lot about Dee’s history from a work perspective, I wanted to talk about how her childhood inspired her art:
When Dee was about 6, her sister made her a Halloween costume made of layered crepe paper. She laughs as she reminisces of Halloween memories. It’s not Halloween though that is her favorite, it’s Christmas. Growing up in Ohio gave her the opportunity to experience the White Christmas that so many of us can be jealous of (especially being from Texas!). She fondly remembers unwrapping ornaments as the snow fell outside. She remembers her mom decorating the house and building a snowman with her dad. It’s these memories that inspire her winter characters!
And how about this fun Halloween classic:
In discussing her artistic talents, we talk about mediums:
Dee is so talented. Her Holiday art that she is known for is formed from paper clay. She loves all the stars, glitter and materials that bring them to life. This isn’t where her talents end though. She has been known to create vintage purses, home décor and of course her original art. She only makes about ten pieces of original art a year but she has plenty of wonderful reproductions we get to choose from each season.
As with all artists, I like to find out when they feel most satisfied with their work:
When creating a collection for a season, Dee loves to take a step back and ‘see it all’. Since each piece starts from a sketch it is not incomprehensible for it to change as she molds the clay, changes the dress or alters it in how it is decorated. Satisfaction comes from seeing the final products, especially when they are all standing together ready to go into her collector’s home for seasonal displays.
Life isn’t always about work, so we talk a bit about what she loves to do outside of her art:
“COVID Crazy” inspired Dee and her husband to get a couple of puppies. They now have a Frenchie and a White German Shepherd that both bring about a sense of energy to the home. When it’s time though, she loves to unwind out by the pool and listen to music. She also loves traveling when able and spending time with her kids and grandkids (especially her brand-new granddaughter 😊).
As we wrap up our fun conversation, I ask where she sees her journey go from here:
Dee’s new venture with her creativity is taking her down a path of jewelry. I have added some pictures since words just can’t explain the beauty. You’ll want to follow Dee and find out more as she carries out this next phase in her journey.
Sometimes a person will follow the path of their parents, or become conservative in their approach to life, but Dee is the epitome of the quote I started with. She has started down many paths, learned from them and has grown successfully in her artistry to date. As we watch Dee through the future, I’m sure we will see even more growth and success as she creates her beautiful, hand made jewelry. We also can’t wait to see what she has in store for her collectors. This season’s Halloween and Christmas creations are already on their way to our store, and we have had the privilege to see what’s in store for us next year. All we can say is that her future is bright, and we continue to look forward to MORE!
You can find Dee Harvey on Instagram @deeharveydesigns. You can find some of her seasonal collections in our store. If you can’t find what you are looking for, reach out! We’d love to help you find what makes you happy!