Welcome to Profile of the Week! We are delighted to present Dallas Nyberg from Cowra, Australia.

Dallas creates photorealistic art using a variety of media, such as acrylics, colored pencils, pyrography and more. He has also shared a wealth of handy art tips here on The Art Colony, on subjects ranging from airbrushing to selling your art, and more.

To see more of Dallas' artwork, visit his gallery: http://community.art-is-fun.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?scre...

When you view his portfolio, be sure to click on the images to view them larger!

Please join us for this interview with Dallas:

How would you describe your art?

I have never really categorized which style my art is. I would guess realism/photo-realistic would be close to what I am striving to achieve. I am a self-confessed detail freak.

I do not have any particular subject that I specialize in. If it interests me, I give it a go. I particularly like doing commissions. Every so often, someone will ask me to do a painting of a subject I had never considered doing before. I rarely knock them back, as I love the challenge of something new to create.

How long have you been an artist and how did you become an artist?

Just like many fellow artists, I have been creating art of some kind for as long as I can remember. I never really considered myself as an artist during my childhood or teenage years. It wasn't until my early twenties that I heard someone actually refer to me as an artist.

There were very few artists in the area I lived in back then, so I had no local artists to learn from or to be inspired by. Art at school was, basically, only about the history of it. There were no art classes, as such, taught in the schools I attended.

Fortunately, one day in High School, a wonderful teacher by the name of Mrs. Prince happened to see some of my sketches and was so impressed with my efforts, she took it upon herself to tutor me in art theory and technique. If it wasn't for her, I doubt I would be still doing it today.

My early "serious" artwork was created using either graphite pencil or pen and ink. I can recall getting into trouble in class, when I would be caught doing a sketch in the back of my school book. I remember being caned for it at one time... talk about suffering for your art!

After leaving school, my artwork seemed to me like some sort of "party trick" that I did to try to impress my friends. It was very frustrating.

I started painting with oils in my mid-twenties and it really fired up the artist in me. It all seemed to start to kick in from there. That was, until I decided to join an art group to hone my fledgling skills with oils. The instructor there looked at one of my paintings and said... "Well... you are no artist, your paintings are too detailed... too busy... you are nothing more than an illustrator". I was shattered, all my dreams of being a competent artist were snuffed out in a flash. For several years after that, I rarely drew a picture let alone paint anything.

It was an article about the death of the great Norman Rockwell that woke me up. The article's heading read: "Norman Rockwell - the World's most famous illustrator".... I knew that Rockwell painted, primarily, on canvas. He was only termed an illustrator because of his affiliation with the publishing companies that used his artwork. I then realised what the term "pigeon-holing" meant.

I then got back into my art, more determined than ever before.

What is your favorite medium and why?

I've tried just about all of them over the years, all with varying success. Obviously drawing is the base to creating any of my art. I love using oils, but found the slow drying time somewhat frustrating to me, so I switched to acrylics. Now, nearly all my paintings are done using them.

Over the years I have also added colored pencil, gouache, pigmented ink and pyrography to the variety of mediums I use.

I also learned how to create pictorial leather carvings along the way and was fortunate enough to be invited to exhibit two of my leather pictures at the 10th Leather Forum exhibition in Tokyo in 1993.

At every opportunity I read books on art technique, constantly trying to improve my skills. Even today, I still read art books, watch art instructional DVDs and search the Internet for more information. I really believe you never stop learning.

What are some of the challenges in working in your preferred medium?

The two main grievances most people have using acrylics are the fast drying time and color change when it's dry.

The fast drying time can be now slowed by using a retarder and the color change is overcome by observing previous results and noting them.

The early acrylics were pretty average and not very user-friendly.

Acrylics of today are now far more advanced and a few years ago I bought some acrylics made by Createx. I loved them and will now use nothing else. Their new Wicked acrylics range is used for all my paintings. They are wonderful to airbrush or hand-brush with and can be reduced to a high degree without losing the integrity of the color. The golden rule... Use the best to do your best.

Pick one work of art from your Art Colony portfolio and tell us the story behind it. Why does this piece have meaning to you? What steps did you take to create the piece?

I guess it would have to be the Blue Winged Kookaburra painting (shown right). This started out as a "simple painting to be done on a small canvas" idea. It eventually ended up as a large, fully detailed, bird study. Many hours were spent painting the feathers alone... They were done one at a time. The bird in the painting is over three feet high from beak tip to tail, so I had to constantly keep the perspective in check. I learned a great deal while painting it. I learned how to get the best results on canvas using the acrylics and how to do fine detail using the airbrush.

I studied many photographs of kookaburras taken from all different angles and even had samples of their feathers on-hand for reference.

The final satisfaction came when the painting won the People's Choice art award at the Lachlan Region Art Awards. People around the region now knew who I was and what I did. I have never had a quiet day since. I now do a lot of commissioned work.

Tell us about one medium, technique or style that you would like to try working with (that you have not tried before) and why you would like to try this.

Possibly, sculpting clay or wood carving. I have a couple of friends who do this kind of art and it intrigues me no end. Finding the time to learn it is the problem.

I would like to sculpt my kookaburra in clay one day or carve it out of wood.

How do you make time for art?

At the present time, I teach computer skills at a local Community Center. Because of this, I usually only have the nights or weekends to work on my art. I have become so busy with my art that I have decided to retire from the computer classes at the end of the year and concentrate totally on my art. I will, however, probably teach an art class or two, every now and then.

If you could imagine the “perfect art day” for yourself, what would it be like?

That's easy --- No phone calls and no visitors dropping by for a chat.

If you could spend 24 hours with one artist, living or historical, who would you want to spend the day with and why? What would the two of you do?

That's easy as well... Norman Rockwell. There is no other artist's work that has intrigued or inspired me as much as his has. He could tell an entire story in one painting. I would love to be with him for a day so I could learn how to master this storytelling technique. I would like to paint a picture of him teaching me. It would be a perfect day for creating another "illustration".

** If you're curious how Dallas created these pieces, check out his discussions in the Works in Progress Forum, where he shows the steps he took to create his beautiful art!

Here are some links to a few of Dallas' WIPs:

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Thank You, Nelson.... I am just three week from retiring from my job... then, it's painting all the way.... I have a whiteboard with an ever growing list of ideas and art to do... I am looking forwards to it.. Cheers
Nelson Failing said:

Aloha Dallas....almost missed your feature showcase....Congrats on being this week's artist choice....its a great feeling huh to be in the limelight?....enjoyed your interview and loved all the artworks they selected for your story....wishing you all the best in your future art endeavors and lookin forward to seeing more of your magnificent works....Aloha!!!

Wow lucky you !....I was thinking of doing an early retirement next yr becoz things were really shitty at my job but thank goodness things have changed somewhat and I feel I am now in a better place so I will probably stick it out for a couple more yrs and then retire...I am soooo lookin forward to that day....LOL....enjoy your retirement and your art time....
 
Dallas Nyberg said:


Thank You, Nelson.... I am just three week from retiring from my job... then, it's painting all the way.... I have a whiteboard with an ever growing list of ideas and art to do... I am looking forwards to it.. Cheers
Nelson Failing said:

Aloha Dallas....almost missed your feature showcase....Congrats on being this week's artist choice....its a great feeling huh to be in the limelight?....enjoyed your interview and loved all the artworks they selected for your story....wishing you all the best in your future art endeavors and lookin forward to seeing more of your magnificent works....Aloha!!!

Love your collie dog. I have the same dog with same facial markings. One black eye one white. All your paintings are good.

Thank You, Susan... I appreciate the feedback.. Cheers

susan parsons said:

Love your collie dog. I have the same dog with same facial markings. One black eye one white. All your paintings are good.
Maggie. You are having a bad go of it, aren't you. I would like to pass on one of the tried and true cliques, but we both know that doesn't help a bit. Life took a left turn for me too, and I am trying to make sense of it, like you. If it weren't for this site and a couple others with wonderful people on them, I would probably be a very bitter person. It has helped. I was in a procedure room in the hospital. Today and all I could think of was, wish I had my sketchbook! My art is keeping my head up...keep yours up too.....Judy

Dallas Nyberg said:

Thank You, Maggie.... I am sorry to hear of your health issues... I too, have ongoing health problems.... diabetes and heart issues... It certainly has slowed me down, but, if it wasn't for my art, I think I would have expired years ago. You only get one life to experience... never waste a minute of it....

Find the time to paint again... it's just what the doctor ordered... Cheers

Margaret Hamm (Maggie) said:

I love your work.  It is absolutely beautiful.  I would like to strive to do what you do, but doubt if I will ever make it. To many years gone by, a long break that wasn't intentional, now health problems.  I hope to be able to get to it soon.  I used to have a little shop in the back of my house where I could just go be alone and paint.  I can get lost in it and all problems disappear.  That too is gone, unfortunately.  Life just gets in my way. :)  I also enjoyed your interview......Maggie



Judy Schaffer Firneno said:

Maggie. You are having a bad go of it, aren't you. I would like to pass on one of the tried and true cliques, but we both know that doesn't help a bit. Life took a left turn for me too, and I am trying to make sense of it, like you. If it weren't for this site and a couple others with wonderful people on them, I would probably be a very bitter person. It has helped. I was in a procedure room in the hospital. Today and all I could think of was, wish I had my sketchbook! My art is keeping my head up...keep yours up too.....Judy

Dallas Nyberg said:

Thank You, Maggie.... I am sorry to hear of your health issues... I too, have ongoing health problems.... diabetes and heart issues... It certainly has slowed me down, but, if it wasn't for my art, I think I would have expired years ago. You only get one life to experience... never waste a minute of it....

Find the time to paint again... it's just what the doctor ordered... Cheers

Margaret Hamm (Maggie) said:

I love your work.  It is absolutely beautiful.  I would like to strive to do what you do, but doubt if I will ever make it. To many years gone by, a long break that wasn't intentional, now health problems.  I hope to be able to get to it soon.  I used to have a little shop in the back of my house where I could just go be alone and paint.  I can get lost in it and all problems disappear.  That too is gone, unfortunately.  Life just gets in my way. :)  I also enjoyed your interview......Maggie

I am having a very hard time.  Long stories.  I will spare you.  I moved out of a house that was falling in and condemed, also, full of mold.. Then I moved into this apartment. Before I could get unpacked and my stuff kind of put up there was a leak.  The plumber said it had been leaking for a long time.  Someone had nailed a nail through a water pipe. The floor is shifty and cold air blows up through it and it is very cold. When they went to cut a small hole to fix the pipe about a 3ft.x3ft. section just fell out an two walls just shook.  He said, these walls are full of black mold and you need to get out of here as this stuff will kill you.  He said, I am serious.  It is bad as far as I can see.  The other guy with him said, I wouldn't stay here at all.  Well I don't have a choice.  Places are hard to find here, especially this time of the year.  I need to get out before winter hits bad.  I have arthritis in my knees and need surgery but can't take pain pills.  I have not hardly been able to walk for three days as we have had rain and supposed to get more tomorrow.  Also, it is coming up my back where I have it bad along with fibromyalgia and I have  had a very bad headache from the for a couple of weeks.  So it has been slow going for me.  I don't even know where my art stuff is they way stuff was just piled any old way when the people helped me move.  I would like to get started on something if I could find something to start with.  I think the junk journal would be a good idea for me as I wouldn't have to be so careful and concentrate.  I am gong to have to get to the doctor and get steroids for my back as bad as I hate to take them.  I is all I can take to work. My computer has been going up and down all day.  They are supposed to come fix it tomorrow.  What is funny is the only thing I have found of my art stuff is the fist two things I tried to paint, about 9 years ago.  I know the rest is somewhere and will try to get too it as soon as I can even it it is just a few minutes everyday.

My daughter is sending me her old computer also and I have to look for the disks as she sent them home with me over two years ago.  I haven't found my computer stuff either.  it is a mess. Hopefully I will get it straightened out soon.  I do check to see what everyone is doing when I have time, and sometimes just say to heck with everything and go on YouTube and just look around.  it helps some just to do that.  Didn't mean for this to be so long.  I also don't thing the reply thing worked right either.

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