Alastair Dacey

Visit Alastair's website at alastairdacey.com

Miles of Canvas:

A Journey from Ateliers to Artistic Exploration

What do the paintings of Rembrandt and Diebenkorn have in common? What would Titian think of Winslow Homer’s painting “Undertow”? Why is painting still so fun when we have iPhones and 3D printing? In fact, why paint at all?

On October 21, 2019, the Rye Art Study invites students, artists and the art-curious to join painter Alastair Dacey as he highlights key moments in his artistic development - from giant gauche color fields painted on venetian blinds (found in the trash) to oil portraits of distinguished Bostonians, reckless plein air sketches to 1930’s circus performers. The session will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Rye Congregational Church, 580 Washington Road in Rye, New Hampshire, and is free to all.

Discovering you are an artist can be like realizing you have an unusual disease. Family and friends whisper in hushed tones, pushing paper and pens your direction. You get sent to special classes for the artistically inclined where you play with glue sticks and construction paper and really bright magic markers. Gradually you catch a whiff of admiration from the adults. Soon you’re drawing the family Christmas card and the art supplies bought for you increase in abundance and price. Then it happens: someone introduces you as ‘the artist.’ You think, ‘the what…?’ Pride and confusion whirl…and continue to whirl as you try and get a grip on what an artist is, and more importantly, what art’s been up to the last few thousand years.

It is an oft-repeated adage that the aspiring artist must paint miles and miles of canvas before getting a clue about how painting works. That’s a lot of canvas and a lot of time —a lot of frustration punctuated by the occasional eureka. Alastair’s journey from Rhode Island School of Design to the Ingbretson Studio and Cecil Studios was a crucial search for information, training and versatility. But none of these would fully prepare him for ‘the real world’ and the pursuit of a tangible and fulfilling (to say nothing of profitable) conception of what painting is, now.

Part autobiography, part art history lesson and part artsy musings - come get a personal take on how one artist has worked and developed his approach to painting and see some of the miles of canvas he’s painted along the way.

The unexpected play of light, form and interpretive realism characterize Alastair Dacey’s work.

Alastair has lived and worked in the Portsmouth NH area since 2010. A skilled landscape, seacoast and still life painter, Alastair focuses most intently on the portrait and human figure. Applying keen observation, precise draughtsmanship and the painterly search for values and color to his contemporary sensibilities, he fulfills commissions, exhibits and teaches across New England and the country.

Alastair co-curated the 2016 exhibition “Illuminating Tarbell, Legacy in Action” in Portsmouth NH. His work is in noteworthy collections including the St. Botolph Club and the New Hampshire State House.

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