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January 2020, gallery owner Dale McDonnell was already a
dedicated artist. The colors of nature inflame his imagination.
His vision appraises the interplay of light, shadow, and hue as
they encounter elements of water, rock, and sky.
McDonnell started painting later in life but always had a love for
art, especially landscape painters. While there are many impulses
that drive an artist to create works of art, beautiful landscapes
have always stirred special emotions for this artist. McDonnell is an
impressionistic landscape painter and he has found inspiration from
the impressionistic painters, especially Monet and Van Gogh.
“I find that nature has a spiritual quality, and the colors that I find there captivate and inspire me every day.”
McDonnell began his artistic career utilizing pastels in a more traditional manner, lightly applying pastels to paper and then framing the painting under glass. But Dale wanted to do things differently. He wanted to be able to showcase his pastel paintings with some texture and not have them isolated under glass. McDonnell was able to accomplish this by starting his paintings by mounting the pastel paper onto a wood panel then utilize pumice and a light coat of acrylic paint to create some texture. He then applies soft pastels over the painting to create a work of art. Finally he fixes the painting with archival acrylic spray varnish to prevent any of the pastel from being rubbed off.
use of nontraditional techniques makes his pastel paintings unique
and allows the alchemical fusion of vivid, pure colors with
discernable tactile textures.
Originally from Detroit, Dale was an attorney in Minneapolis for over 30 years while he pursued his artistic vision part-time. "I have found my educational training as an attorney has assisted me in creating art since legal work is basically problem solving and I see in the creation of a painting the need to find solutions to problems, be it in the composition, the nature of values, or balance in the painting.
then decided to retire early from his vocation to devote his full
energy to his art. He moved to New Mexico in 2012 and lived on
a small mesa south of Santa Fe near the artist-filled community of
Madrid. For the past five years as a member of the Santa Fe
Society of Artists Dale had been showing his work at outside art
shows in downtown Santa Fe. In late 2019 he siezed the
opportunity to run his own gallery and operate his studio within that
gallery. Dale now resides in Madrid and has an
emotionally fortified home base from which he may embark on the
travels which inspire him to paint.
McDonnell finds his inspiration for his paintings nearly every place he goes. Even if it's merely the view out his front door or the area around Madrid. Mountains, lakes, jungles, waterfalls, flowers, trees. Dale's works explore the beauty of this country along with scenes from his travels in Central America and Europe. In his recent trip to Ireland he created dozens of paintings showcasing the beautiful scenery of the Emerald Isle.
Throughout his life, drawing and painting have been close comrades to Mr. Denham inspired by the colorist Van Gogh, Klimt and Vermeer and the stylist Egal Schiele. Mr. Denham developed his representational style with minimal professional training at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and random community classes. Mr. Denham evolved into the pastel painter that he is today. He views the world as potential painting possibilities and nowhere is off limits. From trekking through coastal savannahs of Central America to the jungles of the Peruvian Amazon to city parks and zoos of many great American cities to lectures on eagles or other birds. Mr. Denham has compiled a portfolio of avian art that includes a wide list of species.
“ My paintings are in essence snapshots of life before me at any given moment.”
Mr. Denham’s process starts with his own photographs exclusively, then he makes a detailed sketch to compose the painting which is ten transferred to the final paper and painted in soft pastel. From his studio on 20 acres in the remote high desert south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Mr. Deham creates works representing different avian species. Mr. Denham is a member of the Santa Fe Society of Artists which exhibits on weekends from April through October in downtown Santa Fe. Roger’s work can also be found in the Roadrunner Studio and Gallery in Madrid, New Mexico.
Shop Madrid Roadrunner. Madrid, NM 87010
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