This week I’m featuring a painter whose work exemplifies the perfect combination of geometric shapes and bold color.
Don Dahlke’s art is meant to evoke a certain feeling of warm summer days and ocean breezes, and it certainly does that. Those emotions are created through strong light and shadow, and a definite sense of space and structure within the paintings.
When I look at the windows and walls he’s painted, I almost feel as though they’ve been molded or shaped out of clay. He convincingly portrays windows, shutters, ledges and – deeper into the painting – household objects, with an undeniable three-dimensional quality.
If you’ve read any of my other artist reviews you know that I love art that is boldly colorful. Dahlke’s works are vivid examples of how a “simple” composition with just a few colors can be more striking and memorable than art with a full range of hues.
It’s shadow and light, however, that play the most important part in these paintings. The light coming off of the buildings seems almost too “bright” to look at, even though in a painting that’s not technically possible. It’s Dahlke’s use of contrast the fools the eye into thinking that way.
The world of the Caribbean, as it’s shown in Dahlke’s art, is full of swaying, leafy branches that cast intricate shadows upon sunlit walls. And with those shadows he’s done more than just add interest to the painting – he’s actually created a whole world behind viewers, as well as in front of them.