An artful touch: River walk shows 3-D paintingsPublished 10:59pm Saturday, July 6, 2013
Forget that old standby, “look, but don’t touch.” This month’s visiting artist at River Walk Gallery and Art Center said to touch all you want.
J.M. “Dash” Dalrymple uses a technique that adds a three-dimensional texture to his canvas paintings. The Greensboro artist takes a sand-based stucco and blends it with a plastic polymer to give paintings of alligators and turtles a texture you would have to feel to believe.
Dalrymple started using the technique about 30 years ago, when he was a new dad. He painted animals for his daughters and saw how much they loved petting the animals.
Dalrymple’s art background stretches even farther back, when he took his first art class at age 12. He graduated from Appalachian State University with an art education degree and a minor in three-dimensional design.
Dalrymple and his longtime friend moved to Phoenix after graduation and started an art business called Art Men. They would go to new restaurants and commission a series of original art that would fit the restaurant’s theme.
“In order to finish quickly, we would work on the same canvas,” he said.
Dalrymple started a family after moving to San Francisco. Fatherhood made him forgo fine art for commercial art and graphic design. He now does photography and catalogue design.
“I never stopped painting,” he said.
He painted for friends and family, producing three or four pieces a year.
Now that he is nearing retirement, Dalrymple has decided to return to fine art. After a long day’s work, he returns to his home studio and paints for a couple hours a night.
The result was a series of animal acrylics on canvas. For his show here in Washington, he added a few familiar subjects like shrimpers, boats and crabs. He researches his subjects online then gives his own interpretations.
“Animals take quite a bit of research,” Dalrymple said. “I even research the bone and skeletal structure.”
Dalrymple does not go for realism in his art. He classifies the work as impressionistic.
His years of commercial advertising and graphic design have paid off. His photographic work inspired a new style. He mimics the depths of field of a camera lens. For instance his crisp image of a giraffe has the blurred images of trees behind it.
River Walk Gallery and Art Center welcomed Dalrymple’s collection with an artist’s reception last Friday. Dalrymple visits family in the area regularly and inquired about showing his work in the gallery.
“I think that Little Washington has a great potential of being a really nice art center in this area,” he said. “I’m kind of excited about the work going on right now. There’s a lot of talented people.”
River Walk Gallery and Art Center is located on 139 West Main Street in downtown Washington. For more information about Dalrymple’s show, call 974-0400.