Monday, January 16, 2012

Darin Dykstra's Art Exhibition held at the Hannibal Alliance Art Gallery December 17th, 2011

It has been over 2 months since I wrote last, but it was due to a very hectic time of traveling and preparing for my art exhibition held at the Hannibal Alliance Art Gallery December 17th, 2011.  See the article in the Hannibal Courier.  As many of you know, Hannibal is known for a very famous author and character by the name of Mark Twain..........or Samuel Clemens.  The exhibition was held in the historic downtown area of Hannibal just a few blocks from Clemens' boyhood home.

This is a picture of me during the show printed in the Press News Journal's December 29th issue.  It is a PDF file with the picture on Page 7.  The PNJ is a local paper from my childhood hometown of Canton, MO.  The pictures can also be seen on the Hannibal Alliance Art Gallery link above. 

The turn out was good considering Christmas was the following weekend.  As any artist, I was hoping to sell all my paintings!  It didn't happen of course, but I went in with the idea that if I only sell 1 painting, it would be worth it, just for the experience alone.  Well, I can say that I feel extremely blessed and was able to sell much more than 1.  I had a total of 30 paintings, but I only had room to display 17.  Needless to say, I still have plenty of paintings available for sale!  :)  The feedback I received was very encouraging and I particularly enjoyed speaking with people answering questions about Malta and discussing my techniques and style of painting. I have just been informed that 2 of my paintings were selected to be on display until March in Hannibal at the Hannibal Arts Council.  The title of the show is Winter Blues.  This is a great honor as well and I hope to be able to enter in other exhibitions or competitions in the near future. 

The above book is a collection of a majority of the paintings I had on display or available for display.  This book can be viewed on Shutterfly.  You will need Adobe Flash to view it.  You do have the option to order if you like, but I do not receive any profits from this.  This is strictly through Shutterfly.  What I can say is that however hectic the preparation was, the outcome was more than I could have expected.  I would sincerely like to thank Brenda Beck Fisher, Ann Miller Titus, Pat Kerns and all the artists at the Hannibal Alliance Art Gallery for all their help. 

I am excited to get back to painting after returning home and to start planning for the next time I will be able to exhibit my work.  I hope the next time I will be able to exhibit in Malta.  Stay tuned and until then, enjoy. 


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reflections of a Maltese Luzzu (Fishing Boat)... Acrylic Painting

Hello again! It's been a long time since I posted anything without me realizing how much time has passed by......and so quickly. I have been busy painting a lot for the past 7 months straight in preparation for the showing of my work on December 17th at the Hannibal Alliance Art Gallery. I will be a guest artist and will be in attendance on Saturday, December 17th from 4pm onwards.
My latest painting of a Maltese Luzzu, or a Maltese fishing boat, will be on display (for sale) during this showing. This painting is acrylic on a 12 x 16 inch canvas. I normally paint in watercolor, so my approach to complete this painting took more time than I expected. I once again had to "re-learn" the use of acrylic or oil that is much different when compared to watercolor. It is also more forgiving! The Maltese Luzzu vary in color schemes, but the most common include Yellow, Blue, Red, Green or White. The bow is normally pointed with a pair of eyes. These eyes may be the modern survival of an ancient Phoenician custom (also practiced by the ancient Greeks); they are sometimes (and probably inaccurately) referred to as the Eye of Horus or of Osiris. The town of Marsaxlokk is especially famous for the large numbers of luzzu and similar craft operating in its harbor. As always, your comments are more than welcome.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Recent Paintings

Hello everyone. It has been too long since I have posted or commented on my blog. Painting is one of my passions, but the other is music. I play guitar and I was unable to play until recently due to some issues with my wrists over the past 4-5 years. My passion for playing has been re-kindled, so this has taken some time away from my painting. I have to try and balance it out, but it is very difficult. These are only a few of the watercolor paintings I have done in the first 6 months of this year.

The first painting is a wild flower found during winter in Malta called Borage. It originates from Syria but various forms are found throughout the Mediterranean and Northern Africa.

The second painting is of Marsamxett Harbour in Valletta. Marsamxett is pronounced Mar-sam-shett. This is a view of the Carmelite Church (with the dome) and St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral in Valletta (Il-Belt) or the City.

The third painting is a sea view on the coast not far from the village of Bahrija pronounced (Bah-ree-yah). This was a wonderful hike my family and I took during the winter last year. Beautiful views indeed.

The fourth and last painting is of Tas-Salib pronounced (Tahs-Sa-leebp). This means Of The Cross or The Cross. This is located between Rabat and Mtarfa on the back roads heading towards Mgarr.

These are approximately 10 x 12 inches on a Matting or Backing that is 16 x 20 inches.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Under the Tuscan Sun

What a hot summer it has been! I love sunflowers for their color, shape and texture and especially the fields and fields of yellow when you are driving down a road through Tuscany or riding on a train. They seem to never end. I painted this watercolor starting in August in the height of the heat season and this one took me a bit longer due to the humid days and nights throughout the month. There was a lot of work in this 11x15 inch painting, but it was enjoyable and challenging with a lot of work on each flower. Now on to my next painting. Until next time, enjoy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

St. Paul's Island - Malta

This is a watercolor I painted in late 2009 of St. Paul's Island and of course the sail boat, which is the main attraction. The picture I took inspiration from had vivid colors of blue and the composition was perfect. I have tried to find an accurate description of St. Paul's Island, and the best one is in the Good Book itself. Acts 27 & 28 gives the best description of how Paul of Tarsus was in transition to Rome when the ship he was on was struck by a violent storm. Paul did teach the Good News to inhabitants of the Island of Melita (Malta), but this did not transform the island to Christianity. This did not take place until 300 years later during the era of Constantine. Anyway, this gives you a brief background of this island full of history.

I liked this painting once I finished it, but then once I had the painting Matted/Mounted it was something I loved. The dimensions are roughly 9 x 12 inches and 16 x20 with the Matting. The sky was painted wet and drops of water were dropped in to give the effect of clouds. The rocks were painted and then I used a razor to give them texture. In the coming year I will be taking part in an exhibition and I this will be one of the paintings which will be part of my exhibit. I hope that you enjoy this painting as much as I do.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Autumn in Tuscany

The glow of autumn colors has always been something magical for me. It is even more spectacular when visiting the Tuscan region. Recently my wife and I took my parents to visit various destinations in Tuscany such as Pisa, Lucca, Siena & San Gimignano, among other places. I have been to the Tuscany area 2 other times before, but this trip was different. This time we rented a car and drove through the country side and got a chance to see things off the beaten path that you can't see by train. Those are the special moments when you can pull the car over and snap a breath taking picture for future projects such as the one I am writing this post about. No, it wasn't I who took the wonderful photo that gave me inspiration, but the wonderful landscapes and the vibrant colors did.
This landscape is of a vineyard in the Autumn just before the vines are about to turn a deep red. Boy are they beautiful. The yellows, oranges, reds and greens flow together to create this lovely scene. I have yet to name this painting, but I am thinking of several titles such as A Vibrant Tuscan Autumn, or Tuscan Vineyard Glow, or just Autumn in Tuscany.

After taking 6 months off from painting(no I didn't paint, but I did a lot of drawing in graphite), this was a great way to get back into painting again. I really enjoyed this watercolor and this is a painting that I am going to keep and hang in my home. The size is approximately 20x 30 inches on 260 lb (356 gsm) weight paper and I used a number of various watercolor brand paints. Off to decide on my next project!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Absent but not gone!

Yes, I have been away, but I am not gone. Just absent for a while. Sort of like skipping school. You have to every now and then. Why you ask? Well, I have been working in my yard since the beginning of June and hopefully will be finished by the end of August. Let's hope. My father-in-law and I(mostly him since he is retired) have been cladding the walls with stone, cutting and carving limestone, building a custom BBQ Pit(it is nice if I might say) and other things. It is very hard and tiring work, especially after a full day at the office. Anyway, it will be worth it. Enough about that.

I just wanted to post a few photographs that I took in March when I took my son Jason out to the Malta National Park at Ta 'Qali. While he was having fun riding his tricycle, I snapped a few photos. I love black and white photos and they have always been a favorite of mine. The first one is of a tree viewed through one of many massive archways in this rotunda. The second is a favorite of mine. It has more artistic qualities to it and I could see this one easily becoming a painting. It is a shot under a palm tree of other palm trees, but the shadowing and texture in this picture is what makes it exciting. I also like the fact that you can tell there was a sort of wind that was blowing the palms in the background back and forth a bit. Anyway, I hope to start painting again once I find the time. Once I do, I will post my work. Until then, I will continue posting more pictures.