Day 261: Barbara Dahlstedt

Artist Statement

They say that the best way to learn is to teach.  After teaching art to teenagers for twenty-six years, I feel like I have had the best art education possible.    I have used just about every medium under the sun and have helped over 5,000 students solve visual problems and many mistakes along the way. Quite by accident, I discovered my own voice through an unexpected medium, colored pencil.  I discovered I really enjoy drawing the human face as my favorite subject matter.  Light hitting the human form is magical to me.  Breathing life into facial features is a delight when the personality of the model emerges.

As I embark into semi-retirement.  I’m excited to do all the projects I never had time for.  Recently I discovered an unusual surface for colored pencil.  It is double-sided matt drafting film.  It is archival, easy to erase, and lends itself to creating special effects.  I love the unusual combination of brush stroke and pencil stroke.

My models are often my students, family and fellow teachers I work with.  I also enjoy going out on photo shoots where people are in costume.  The Arizona Renaissance Festival is a favorite place of mine to go.  Colored pencil is perfect for rendering tiny details.  I love the challenge of ornate jewelry and intricate lace.  I work with several techniques that speed up the process of the tedious application of pencil with solvents, markers, and heat.  I work many of my pieces as if they were an oil painting.  I build layers of color to achieve depth and rich saturated color.  Many people exclaim they can’t believe it is colored pencil.

In the last six years, I’ve become a Signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America and the president of the Phoenix Chapter.  My near future will include teaching workshops, private lessons, and commissions.

Facebook:  Dahlstedt Art

Fair Queen
It’s All Up to You
Made in America
Mourning Light
New YorK State of Mind

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