In essence Dorothy's art has one visible subject: movement. "Movement is life", she avers, and she has made it her life's work to record those movements that fascinate and delight her and then, through the medium of paint, telling us what, in her view was going on beyond appearances.
Her father taught art and her mother's great uncle exhibited at the Royal Academy, but Dorothy knew she did not want to become the teacher her parents wished her to be; the safe job instead of the risky business of being an artist was not for her. She attended evening classes at Liverpool College of Art, classes which she continued when she left school and had to get a job to help support the family after her father died.
She worked in the publicity department of a department store, but the outbreak of war meant that newspaper and magazine advertising was not available. To fill that gap an exhibition of the arts and crafts of the Allied countries was proposed and she borrowed works from the Wallace Collection, Lady Lever Art Gallery and even the Allied consulates. The exhibition, on the top floor of the building, had the desired effect, bringing in both customers and publicity for the store.
Also at this time she saw an exhibition of Norwich school English watercolours at the Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool and wrote to the organisation responsible for it, CEMA.