Artist Statement

                                                                           Surreal Art

  The main focus in my artwork is any small, insignificant thing that tends to be overlooked in everyday life. These things, though small, are beautiful in their own right, and I wish to remind people of the natural beauty in things; to remind them to take a closer look at their lives and find happiness, in the everyday, in the moment. I believe that this comes from my own personal physical disabilities and how I have to overlook the things that I cannot do and focus instead on what I can. This outlook has allowed me to understand that there are more beautiful things in life than people seem to think – you just have to be willing to look for them. 
  My paintings are oil on canvas and are of the surreal style, seeing as to how they cut right to the chase of imagery, emotion and awe. This series is inspired by dreams that I have had. While remembering the dream is the hardest part of making each piece, the actual painting is easy, because the images seem to just flow straight from my subconscious onto the canvas. Therefore, I instinctively know how the painting is supposed to look. The more I paint from my dreams, the more vivid my pieces seem to get. 
  The techniques I use when painting are traditional. I start by drawing out my subject or object on the canvas with pencil. Then I mix up the mid tones for all of the colors in the painting for the main subject. I then lay down the shapes of the subject with the mid tones so that I have a blocked out version of my subject so I know where to put in highlights and low-lights. This process can take a few days to complete. I continue in this pattern until I reach the level of realism that fits my style before leaving it to dry for about two weeks. Once it is dry I then add in the background, which can take a couple of days to a week to get it right and completed, depending on the size of the piece. I set it aside to dry for about a month before varnishing it with Liquin in order to make it impenetrable to damage. The piece then sits for another two weeks in order to make sure that everything is completely dry. 
  The long drying times allow for me to check the painting for quality and ensure that I am completely happy with it before moving on to the next part of the painting process. Since oil paints take so long to dry, I am able to tweak the painting between sessions in order to perfect it before adding more. 

Dale Slingland