Johns Island resident, Alice Ann Dobbin, has been drawing and painting since she was old enough to hold a pencil.The creative endeavor was always a deeply rooted need. From an early age, when other children were outside playing, she was happy to sit in her room and write stories or draw pictures.
Born in a diverse ethnic neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she was selected to attend special classes for the artistically gifted while still in elementary school. The classes were held at what later became Carnegie Mellon University, an incubator of talent, producing many nationally prominent artists.
A gifted writer as well, she graduated with a degree in Journalism & Advertising from Pennsylvania State University. She previously considered majoring in art, but her family could not afford the extra cost of paints and materials needed to complete course work in fine arts. She saw opportunities to earn a living with a more practical journalism degree. Her artistic talents, however, were constantly in use. While in college and a member of several organizations, she designed homecoming floats which took top awards during the years she attended. During her career in the field of communications, she won numerous national graphic awards including a first prize for best annual report by a non-profit organization.
For a brief period, she was a stay-at-home mom, painting whenever she found the time and doing volunteer teaching in the arts at local schools. At the encouragement of her husband, she returned to college to pursue her dream of an art career. She obtained her art degree, graduating magna cum laude from Washington and Jefferson College where she was honored with the prestigious Beta Scholar designation by the president of the college. Former Art History Professor, Hugh Taylor, called her one of the most significant art historians he had known.
While at W&J, she studied printmaking, art history, painting, and art education. She was profoundly influenced by the academic world of art where ethics and the mastery of skills formed the foundation of an artist’s career.
Dobbin was an adjunct professor of art at Washington and Jefferson College for several years and also taught art at high school and elementary levels. In addition, she was a private consultant in art and graphic design. A professional artist for over twenty years, she has also authored two books.
When she and her husband moved to Charleston 15 years ago, she was intensely affected by the beauty of the landscape and brilliant light. She fell in love with her new surroundings and became very prolific in her work. “I am finally home,” she confirmed.
Soft spoken, kind and at times, reclusive, Dobbin is a devote Christian who considers her talents a gift from God. As she seeks peace in life, her work conveys the same. Her positive outlook is expressed on canvas through her bold use of color and often whimsical subject matter. In her wildlife scenes, she invites the viewer to see the personality of each creature. While playfully abstracting the environment, she emphasizes the eye as the “window of the soul.”
Alice Dobbin is a member of the Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, and a Signature Member of Artists for Conservation.. Her work appears in numerous private, public and corporate collections throughout the United States, Europe and Australia and is included in the collection of a former US president.