A Little Bit of Heaven painting by Trillium Woods resident

Trillium Woods Resident Artist Series: Dorothy Pryor

From copying illustrations of Lassie out of a magazine, to being the high school yearbook art illustrator and to accompanying classmates on piano at Macalester College, Dorothy Pryor has been tapping into and sharing her artistic talents from a young age. But it wasn’t until only 10 years ago that Dorothy found her new passion: watercolors.

Essentially self-taught, Dorothy was first introduced to watercolor painting in 2011 at a community class, but quickly progressed beyond that and turned to art books and online videos for tips and inspiration. Now you can still find Dorothy at Trillium Woods painting away.

Ziggy with Chris

In the beginning, Dorothy wanted to paint things that were pretty – mostly flowers and landscapes. Dorothy’s inspiration soon turned to subjects that drew her in.

Winter Sunset

“Last year, looking at this incredible Minnesota sky, I was inspired to paint a cloud series,” said Dorothy, “so I studied how to paint clouds.”


“As I read, viewed artists painting on YouTube and progressed, I discovered that, in addition to ‘pretty,’ I can paint something meaningful, something that speaks to me and to others in some way – a story, a memory, a feeling,” said Dorothy.


Dorothy often paints specific scenes or subjects for the people she cares about. What she loves most about creating her artwork is the opportunity to create something meaningful for a friend or family member. For instance, she recently completed a painting of her friend in Connecticut meditating poolside near a garden and just sent it to her as a surprise gift.


Whether it’s completing a painting suggested by a friend, or going the extra mile for a personalized gift, each of Dorothy’s pieces is lovingly created after taking time to study and learn new techniques to bring the subject to life.

Floral in a Vase

Dorothy paints for two reasons –the joy of artistic self-expression her paintings bring and for gifts to the special people in her life. She has completed over 100 paintings since she began her watercolor journey in 2011, each with a special meaning, none for sale.


“As I look back at my many paintings, I see a great variety,” said Dorothy.

Blue Pot

“Dorothy is a gifted watercolor artist,” said Austin, Dorothy’s husband. “Residents walk by and express great admiration.”


Several of Dorothy’s paintings have been on display at Trillium Woods over the years. Check out the shelf outside the Pryor’s apartment where Dorothy rotates out different paintings monthly!

Keep up with the Trillium Woods Artist Series on the Trillium Woods blog, where we’ll continue to feature talented resident artists in the coming months!