Dell Rosa has been painting and drawing for all his life. His main focus in his art is architecture set in a fantasy-like setting, such as castles, palaces, temples, and cathedrals.
Dell's main purpose is to paint pictures that he enjoys as well as share his imaginary world with others.
Dell loves painting mountains, water, waterfalls, trees, forests, cliffs, clouds, and reflections. Through these scenic elements, he uses different, challenging perspectives to give "the viewer a precarious footing when looking into the picture."
LAL (Lexington Art League): You seem to gravitate towards using acrylic on canvas and illustration boards, why do use that specific medium instead of something else?
DR (Dell Rosa): I started my painting career on canvas and so it's a familiar substrate. I also learned to paint on illustration board at the Blair School of art in SC. So I've started using that substrate. However, the specific illustration board is no longer available so I may move to another material. I'm considering aluminum sign blanks as a possibility.
LAL: All of your paintings have a fantastical and mystical quality about them, how do you choose the theme of your paintings?
DR: I love the fantasy milieu. I also like science fiction and fantastical landscapes. I paint the things that I enjoy looking at.
LAL: What is your ultimate goal in creating these paintings?
DR: I see so many neat places in my head that don't really exist, and I wish to share them with other people. Sometimes they're places I wish existed. Sometimes they're places I wish I could visit. But, ultimately I want to capture them so I can keep them and look at them again and again.
LAL: What sort of reactions do you want from your audience?
DR: I want my audience to feel the same sense of wonder and awe that I do when I dream some of these things up. I do hide things in my paintings and I hope that they can serve as something to study and come to appreciate beyond a single viewing. The one reaction I've chased now for many years is for people to think my work is a photograph. To me it adds a level of realism to something wholly unreal.
LAL: What is the most important part of your creative process?
DR: Inspiration. If I don't have it, I don't progress. Sometimes inspiration strikes at the most inconvenient of times. I try to keep a sketch book handy to capture ideas and save them for future development. After that, it's discipline. Which I need more of, frankly. The time and determination to stick with a project until it's finished, can be a hard thing to come by.
LAL: What inspired 'The Glacier Castle Ruins'?
DR: I didn't know where this painting was going when I started it. In fact, I completely repainted the sky and horizon after the first round because I didn't like what I had. From there I kept moving forward (down the canvas) and adding ranges of mountains and things. I wanted this to be an icy world but not completely cold. More like it was thawing out.
LAL: Did you come up with this landscape from pure imagination, is it reminiscent of a real place or imaginary place?
DR: I visited Glacier Bay in Alaska some years ago, and the retreat of the glaciers and global warming were definitely on my mind as I made this piece. The foreground cliffs and waves were inspired by pulpit rock. But, with all my paintings, I like to put castles or some other fantasy element in, so this painting got an ancient ruin that was inspired by Mayan ruins.
LAL: What were your biggest challenges in creating 'The Glacier Castle Ruins'?
DR: Painting on canvas limits my airbrush techniques and I struggle to get the level of detail and subtlety that I like. Thankfully, I can bring a lot of traditional brush work to the table as well and capture some things in that way. The other big challenge was to get the lighting right on the fog and waves. I struggled with that for many months.
LAL: What is your advice to someone who would want to become a full time artist?
DR: Unless you're a prodigy, pursue another parallel career for your day job. Like a graphic artist or something. This way you'll have income to live on. Don't give up your dream though. The day may come when your art will pay your bills and when it does - then jump in full time.
Visit Dell Rosa's website: www.dellrosa.com
Public Gallery Hours
Wednesday - Saturday 12pm - 5pm
Viewings also available by appointment
Tuesday - Friday 10am - 5pm
The Loudoun House
209 Castlewood Dr.
Lexington, Ky. 40505
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The Kentucky Arts Council, a state arts agency, provides operating support to the Lexington Art League with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by Lexington Parks & Recreation.