Dean Mitchell
A watercolor portrait of an older black man wearing a beige turtleneck, a blue jacket and a grey boater hat.

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Artist Bob Ragland
Collection of the artist

Dean Mitchell is known primarily for his figurative watercolor landscapes and still lifes depicting everyday people and environments. Raised in the segregated farming town of Quincy, Florida, Mitchell paints contemporary subjects but draws inspiration from his experience growing up poor in the South. Here Mitchell portrays his longtime friend Bob Ragland, who describes himself as a “working class, journeyman artist.” Although he has never achieved widespread success or financial security, Ragland is well respected and has taught and mentored many young artists. “Rejection has made me everything I am. I just eat rejection in a sandwich, and it makes me stronger. You know, tough times never last, but tough people do, and I’m the latter.” Mitchell captures this character in this portrait through the subtle light falling on Ragland’s determined, upturned face.