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Robert Dalegowski: watercolor on paper

Robert Dalegowski was born in Flagstaff in 1948. The oldest of five brothers, he roamed the forests and canyons of Northern Arizona as a child, developing a deep love and respect for the solitude of wilderness which surrounded his rural home in Doney Park. At that time amenities were limited, without electricity, and water was pumped from a cistern. In this environment, his father instructed the boys in the practice of drawing as entertainment, using fireplace charcoal on old newspapers. From the earliest days, artistic expression was associated with family and relaxation, leading eventually to a very personal meditative process involving plein air watercolor painting.

Many years of experimentation with watercolor and plein air painting has achieved a unique style of controlled and colorfully expressive brushwork to develop a final vibrant image. Combined with the inspiration and solitude of the wilderness, this technique can capture the essence and light of moment and place. Usually, a short day hike will reveal a compelling perspective, other times more extensive effort is expended.

Wilderness (often Grand Canyon) plein air painting frequently involves multi day backpacking trips carrying minimal equipment. Scenes involving water are painted using water from that location. A half dozen brushes, small pigment loaded paintbox, and small watercolor block of 140# or 300# quality paper allow these quick (1 to 6 hr.) interpretations of place to sometimes result in a finished painting.

Most images start with a pencil sketch, often maskit is placed for contrast. Color washes are blocked in and many techniques are employed to complete a painting quickly. Often the preliminary painting is refined later, sometimes in the studio.

Nothing Robert paints is an exact representation of what is seen, rather an edited vision to express the glow of light and complexity of mood. Grand Canyon is a favorite place- rock, sky, water – a vast wilderness of intimate oases accessed by foot, rope, river, or art. Through his art, he shares the beauty, geology and mystery with others.

Share the vision, perhaps the peace.

Robert’s art is currently shown at The Artist’s Gallery, 17 N. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, Az. Meet the artist at any First Friday Artwalk, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.