November’s artist of the month at the Artists by the Lake Club is Deb Dahlin. Her work can be viewed in the showcase outside the art on the second floor of Lakeview Recreation Center, 10626 W. Thunderbird Road.
Ms. Dahlin received a bachelor’s degree in art education from SUNY at New Paltz and received a master’s degree from Syracuse University. She was able to take more than 50 hours of graduate SU studio classes as a result of hosting student teachers from SU over her 26 years as an art teacher in Liverpool, New York. She studied under Nicora Gangi who introduced her to pastel. She also had the opportunity to study pastel with Kitty Wallis and Robert Carsten.
After retiring, Ms. Dahlin relocated to Sun City. She is the president of Artists by the Lake and a member of Palo Verde Art Club, WHAM , Sun City Clay Club and Vanguard. She teaches a pastel class to seniors and volunteer at WHAM. She has exhibited work at the All Sun City Art Show, Glendale Invitational, Palo Verde Art Show, West Valley Art Museum, Everson Art Museum and the New York State Fair in the professional category.
“When I discovered pastel, it was a color explosion and made art so exciting to me,” Ms. Dahlin stated. “Working with pure pigment is a joyful experience I love sharing with students. I enjoy combining colors and putting them next to each other to create a vibrant communication as part of the composition. Many of the sanded papers allow for an under-painting technique which I like to use because I began making art as a painter and I like the feel of a brush in my hand. This also allows me to see if the values are working before I begin applying pastel.”
Ms. Dahlin has traveled as part of her teaching experiences and has been to Japan, Greece, Italy, France, China, Egypt, Ireland, Costa Rica and Mexico. She uses personal photos as the inspiration for her art.
“Now, as I learn to become a western artist, I like going to Sedona, White Tank, Jerome and other spots in Arizona,” Ms. Dahlin says. “Capturing the light and atmosphere of Arizona is my next challenge. I enjoy making art as much as I loved teaching it and sometimes feel as though I am just beginning to really learn to express myself artistically.”
The Covid quarantine allowed Ms. Dahlin to further examine her own work as well as try her hand at alcohol ink. The colors are just as vibrant as pastel and she enjoys working with them. The problem with quarantine is the lack of audience. She likes painting because it’s her visual communication with the world and not having that ability to share her work has been challenging.
“I am ready to get back to sharing art in person,” she says.
Ms. Dahlin teaches a small class for pastel Wednesday mornings. To join the Artists by the Lake Club stop by the art room and sign up. Members must be a resident of Sun City with a valid RCSC card and pay dues. Email firstname.lastname@example.org