Dena Tollefson (nee Dena Schaefer), born 1965, is a full-time, professional artist. Tollefson graduated from Iowa State University in 1988 and lived in Dallas Texas before returning to Iowa in 1991 where she developed her unique, highly textured oil painting style. She lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with her husband and family.
Tollefson is represented in galleries nationally in New Mexico, Florida, Iowa, Wisconsin, Texas, and Illinois.
Her "Daubism" body of work is a unique process she developed, where "daubs" of individually mixed oil paint are applied with a palette knife. The largest marks are applied with a serving spoon, allowing ridges of paint which catch the light and appear to dance and scintillate as the viewer moves past the painting. Tollefson’s work focuses on botanicals, ponds, skies, and her Corn Series of work, biographies where people are depicted as ears of corn. Her work is highly tactile.
Dena Tollefson’s work hangs publicly and in private collections throughout the US. She has exhibited in juried shows in Texas, New York, California and Georgia and has won awards at the national and local level, as addition to participating in 21 gallery group shows.