Bilder, Dorothea

The art of Dorothea Bilder is based upon her personal experiences, dreams, and conversations.  Her work depicts landscapes and situations of an ethereal nature incorporating the above mentioned intangibles.  More important than capturing her subject matter in realistic terms is to capture the mood of an event, the texture of a landscape, creating a universal image…a feeling that it will exist long after we have left it.  Many of her images are created with the use of aerial photographs, microscopes, telescopes, maps and map symbols to portray landscapes with means other than linear observation that also includes wisps of her Greek ancestry and heritage.  The treatment of space requires complex and subtle adjustments, a situation that seems appropriate within the context of both life and art in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

There comes a time when an artist has to use the materials that are available in the studio.  Dorothea Bilder was determined to use remnants of dry pigment pastels and a stack of white Arches rag printmaking paper, re-purposing some of the paper that already had lithographic impressions.  ‘My Thoughts’ continues the body of work in which she uses the written word as the basis of what she is creating, expressing her thoughts on paper, like a journal.  From the placement and calligraphic gestures an image may emerge from the many layers of pastels.  The original goal was to do a drawing a day during the summer of 1977.  The process of using dry pigment pastels continued during the summer months through 1985, her first summer in São Paolo, Brazil.

Bilder received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Illinois Wesleyan University; and attended the School of Artin Terni, Italy, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Southern Illinois University, receiving a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting, respectively.  She is Professor Emeritus from the School of Art at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois and author of the article, “Silk Screen Printing”, which appears in the book titled, “The Illustrated Library of Creative Arts and Crafts, Volume 1”, Fuller and Dees, Montgomery, Alabama in the 1980’s.

The art of Dorothea Bilder has been celebrated in Canada, Brazil, China, England and Poland; and her work has been acquired by many corporations, personal and university collections, most recently at the Central University of Queensland, Australia.

Her work can be viewed through other website locations:  Ymagos Atelier de Gravuras di Arte Ltda, São Paolo, S. P. Brazil, and through Northern Illinois University at

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