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David Meikle: Capturing Drama through Color and Shape

MEIKLE Black Rock
A new feature on RedThread that showcases contributions by University faculty, staff and students in order to highlight the breadth and range of professional and academic pursuits on campus.  This is the second in an occasional series.  Let us know in the comments whose work you’d like to see more of.  –RT ed

Update: Dave’ Meikle’s work will be on display at Ogden’s Gallery at the Station beginning with a reception June 3 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. through June 28.  See full story in the Standard Examiner.


Artist Statement by David Meikle, graphic designer and illustrator in marketing and communication at the University of Utah:

 The rolling foothills, rugged mountains, and sharp red rock formations found in the West hold great appeal to me as an artist. There is great drama to be found in the mountains, canyons and valleys that surround us.

Shape and color are what I think about most when I am creating an image. The overall design of the painting is just as important as the colors used and the paint strokes applied. The idea of emphasizing strong shapes and patterns lends itself very well to exploring contrasts in scale and color for dramatic effect. I am attracted to the portrayal of distance in my paintings and I manipulate my colors to create the illusion of depth in the picture plane. As the landforms recede in the distance, I make sure the colors are lighter in value, less saturated, and cooler in hue. On the other hand, the colors in the foreground elements are much more saturated, warmer in hue, and the contrasts in values are much greater. The contrasts in the properties of the colors, foreground and background, create the depth found in the painting.

My work is about the the manipulation of both color and shape to make dramatic and bold statements about the landscape as well as give the viewer a heightened sense of reality. The resulting painting is my translation of our three-dimensional world onto a two-dimensional plane. I want the viewer to be rewarded not only by looking at the brush strokes close up, but by being able to stand back and enjoy the composition as a whole.

You can learn more about Dave and his work by exploring his website.