Dean Hoornaert is featured artist in December at Portola Art Gallery

by Frances Freyberg on December 1, 2021

Natural Beauty Around the World — paintings by artist Dean Hoornaert — is the featured exhibit at the Portola Art Gallery in December. It features amazing landscapes and wildlife encountered during Dean’s extensive travels. He strives to capture the light, color, and mood of these inspiring places and animals in order to share their beauty with others.

There will be a reception for the artists on Saturday, December 4,  from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Although Dean has enjoyed drawing since he was a child, it was only in 2017, after retiring, that he was able to pursue art and painting in a serious way. Dean grew up in the East Bay town of Concord, attended UC Berkeley in the mid-’80s, and earned a degree in mechanical engineering.

For the 30 years since, he has lived, worked, and raised a family in the South Bay. Primarily working in the medical device field, Dean is particularly proud to have spent the last 18 years of his career helping to develop the da Vinci Surgical Robot as part of the engineering team at Intuitive Surgical. His ability to draw and visualize 3D shapes was particularly useful as a design engineer; however, these busy years of his career, while helping to raise a family, left little time to pursue art.

After an early retirement in 2016, Dean and his wife, Meg, embarked on a lifelong dream —traveling the world with their two kids. For 15 months, they hopped from continent to continent, homeschooling Dex (10) and Kylie (9) along the way. Five of the 15 months were spent traveling on tandem bicycles, pedaling more than 6000 miles. Upon returning, Dean was at last able to turn his attention to art.

Taking adult education classes and joining local painting groups, Dean developed an understanding of various drawing and painting mediums — watercolor, acrylics, oils, pastels, and charcoal. During the pandemic, he was able to keep his artistic brain engaged, working on dozens of portraits as part of online classes offered by John Peck, a local portrait artist and instructor. Nevertheless, landscapes and wildlife comprise the majority of Dean’s paintings. Dean’s work may be viewed online at and

Comments are closed.


Please help support InMenlo! Your contribution will help us continue to bring InMenlo to you. Click on the button below to contribute!