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Local artist paints Dolly Parton’s face around East Tennessee

Jessica Ramsey painted one mural of Dolly Parton and another and another...

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — One artist in Knoxville has a flare for the fabulous. She has gained notoriety by painting Dolly Parton's face around town.

Dolly Parton is beloved and admired. She is East Tennessee royalty.  So paintings of Dolly have to be just right.  They have to capture her spirit, her magic and one local painter does that really well.

"Somebody told me 'you're the Dolly painter, you're the Dolly girl'. I just think that's really cute," said Jessica Ramsey. 

It all started at Grow, a salon in West Knoxville.

"I really spent a lot of time getting her lips right and her eyes right and her hair right especially hair for Shane for Grow," said Ramsey.  

And after this Dolly mural, Ramsey's business took off painting Dolly again and again.  And Marilyn Monroe.  Nacho Libre.  Even her husband, Shea Ramsey.

It's a good thing she's good at faces, a passion that started with a class project at West High School.

"I loved to draw faces especially in high school, I remember drawing all my friends," said Ramsey. 

After getting her fine art degree from UT, she worked for a faux finisher in Nashville.

"We did Tanya Tucker's house, we did the manager for Rascal Flatts, we did tons of fun projects there and she taught me a lot about how to quote a job, how to get a job," said Ramsey.

Jessica moved home to Knoxville to marry her high school sweetheart and took a little time off to have babies.  And then came Dolly.

"I love her so much. I love the feminine with her strong sense of self," said Ramsey.  "She's just a wonderful human and I think painting her is a great way to celebrate her."

And now this East Tennessee girl is making her mark on Knoxville.

"I can just drive around the Bearden area and now downtown and point out all the different things I've done and it just warms my heart that all these people believe in me," said Ramsey. 

You can see more of Jessica Ramsey's work on her Instagram.

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